The Government continues to allocate priority to the development of a solid infrastructure despite the generally inhospitable terrain in Papua New Guinea. The country is vast in size yet small in terms of its revenue base. Resource allocation for the development and maintenance of infrastructure is a constant challenge for the Government.
Transport and Freight Facilities
The principal modes of transport are provided by airline and shipping companies though road transport services provide a vital service to some parts of the country, particularly in the Highlands.
The rugged mountain ranges on the mainland have inhibited the development of an extensive road network and there is no major road linking Port Moresby with the rest of the mainland yet, though development of this major link is underway. An important highway however links the industrial city of Lae to the important Highlands towns of Goroka and Mt Hagen, among others. The Highlands is the most densely populated region of the country and this road system is the main thoroughfare for commercial distribution and marketing purposes.
Internal air transport is provided by the national airline, Air Niugini, and a number of other privately-owned third level carriers. There are reliable air services available to all the main population centres. International flights are handled at Port Moresby, Mt Hagen in Western Highlands, Gurney in Milne Bay and Daru in Western province. Air Niugini operates regular services to several Australian cities as well as to Singapore, the Philippines, Hong Kong and the Solomon Islands. Other international airlines operating in Papua New Guinea are Qantas and Solomon Airlines. Most airlines offer freight facilities on their flights.
Coastal shipping services are comprehensive, employing almost 250 vessels, some of which are containerised. These ships operate between the 17 ports along the coastline of the mainland and the islands. International shipping lines operate regular freight services to and from South East Asia, Japan, Europe, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Australia. The major ports of Lae and Port Moresby are regarded by users as very efficient.
The telecommunications system, run by the Government owned Post and Telecommunication Corporation (PTC), is highly-developed. Many international companies operating in Papua New Guinea have commented favourably on the system’s reliability and performance.
Direct dialling is available to almost all parts of the country and with the assistance of solar-powered microwave transmitters, is very effective. International direct dialling is also available from most centres. International and domestic facsimile, telex and postal services, are also very efficient. PTC has begun a phased introduction of mobile telephones.
Electricity is supplied in Papua New Guinea by the Government owned Papua New Guinea Electricity Commission, known as Elcom. It operates about 20 independent power systems serving 27 urban centres, representing approximately 50,000 industrial, commercial and domestic consumers.
About 80 per cent of the electricity is generated by hydro power stations and most of the balance by thermal stations. Solar power is used extensively for the supply of domestic hot water systems.
Exciting new developments are on the horizon as Elcom investigates alternative forms of energy supply for consumers. In particular, the country’s vast reserves of natural gas are being seriously considered as an economic alternative to the current supply forms.
The Government body known as the Industrial Centres Development Corporation (ICDC) has fully serviced premises available for occupation by industrial and manufacturing businesses. Refer to the information about institutional framework in Section 11 for more information about the ICDC. The first completed centre is located in Lae, Morobe Province. Investors are encouraged to contact the ICDC for further information about the special investment incentives packages available for businesses located here.