22 Dec 2010

PNG government gives nod to LNG fibre optic cable investment

9:45 pm on 22 December 2010

Papua New Guinea's National Executive Council has agreed to invest in the LNG fibre optic cable as part of a US$60 million rollout of an national broadband network accessible at competitive costs to the wider public.

A Cabinet meeting on Friday, chaired by Acting Prime Minister Sam Abal, gave approval for the Independent Public Business Corporation to borrow US$35 million to fund the acquisition of a 41.67% share in the PNG LNG fibre optic cable.

Other partners in the proposed PNG LNG fibre network include Esso Highlands (33.33%) as operator of the PNG LNG Project, Oil Search (16.67%) and the Southern Highlands Provincial Government (8.33%).

The IPBC proposes to raise a further US$25 million to integrate the PNG LNG fibre cable into current infrastructure and to build additional linkages to complete the broadband network.

In briefing cabinet, the Minister for Public Enterprises, Arthur Somare, said the LNG fibre optic agreement needed to be executed by the end of this month with expectations the cable could be 'ready for service' by the end of 2012.