PNG marine industrial zone to begin operating in 2017

6:44 pm on 22 November 2016

The Papua New Guinea government is planning to get its Pacific Marine Industrial Zone project up and running in Madang Province in the first quarter of 2017.

Fishing vessels, both modern and traditional, in the Madang lagoon, Papua New Guinea; part of the planned Pacific Marine Industrial Zone.

Fishing vessels, both modern and traditional, in the Madang lagoon, Papua New Guinea; part of the planned Pacific Marine Industrial Zone. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

This is according to the vice minister in charge of the project Anton Yagama who is also the MP for , Usino Bundi.

The $US235 million project, which would establish up to ten canneries and other port facilities on the Madang Lagoon, has been delayed for more than a decade due to legal, environmental and landowner issues.

However the prime minister Peter Oneil recently recommitted his government to construction of the PMIZ which will be carried out by China Shenyang International Technical Economic Corporation.

Fillipino tuna fishing vessels on the Madang lagoon

Fillipino tuna fishing vessels on the Madang lagoon Photo: RNZI/Johnny Blades

Anton Yagama said the aim was to have the first cannery operational before the elections in April next year.

"We are just waiting on the funding now, to get the money in. We are getting Chinese government funding. We got some foundational work done. We have got the contractor is on site waiting for the funding to come so things will happen," said Anton Yagama

Mr Yagama says the initial funding allocated for the cannery was around $US1.5 million but says more than a hundred million is available to draw from.

Fillipino company RD Tuna's port facility in the Madang Lagoon, Papua New Guinea.

Fillipino company RD Tuna's port facility in the Madang Lagoon, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI/Johnny Blades

He said once set up PNG will use the cannery as a showcase to invite neighbouring Pacific countries as well as other foreign companies to set up their own operations in Madang.

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