New loans for roads, airports in PNG

16/03/2014

The Papua New Guinea Government is to receive two loans to fund improvements to the road network and air services in the Highlands region, where 40 per cent of the country’s population resides. <!--more-->The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has financed the loans.

A US$109 million loan will fund the second tranche of the Highlands Region Road Improvement and Investment Program (HRRIIP), which is rehabilitating and maintaining the road network in the Highlands region, known for its agricultural exports including coffee, tea, and vegetables. Approved in 2008, the road programme is a US$750 million plan that aims to make transport more safe and accessible by connecting rural roads to main roads and making provision for public transport.

A $130 million loan was also signed at the ceremony to fund the second tranche of the $640 million Civil Aviation Development Investment Programme, first approved in 2009, which targets sweeping improvements to 21 national airports that serve more than three million people annually. It is also strengthening the safety, accessibility, and reliability of air services, and is expected to open up new economic opportunities in regional centers.

Under the first tranche of the HRRIIP, 115 kilometers of road are being rehabilitated between Laiagam-Pogera (65 kms) and Mendi-Kandep (50 kms) using four locally-owned construction firms employing more than 500 locals and providing improved market access and income earning opportunities for the people of Enga and Southern Highlands provinces.

The Civil Aviation Development Investment Programme has so far upgraded airport facilities in three national airports. At Port Moresby’s Jackson airport, this includes expanding the domestic parking apron, installing an updated instrument landing system, and procuring three new fire safety trucks. The pavement at Hoskins airport will be upgraded and terminal facilities at Mt. Hagen airport improved.

It has also improved safety and security in five regional airports in Hoskins, Wewak, Kavieng, Gurney, and Goroka to comply with International Civil Aviation Organisation safety and security standards.