Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited, as the national petroleum and energy company, has a responsibility to drive development in this sector of the economy, and to provide direct financial benefits for the National Government and other stakeholders.
However, it also has the capability to finance the organisation’s related national content and general development activities such as rural electrification, specialist training, health infrastructure and community services support. When many people see its name, they possibly assume that the company’s only role is to ‘passively’ hold the State’s shareholding in actively operating oil and gas developments in the country.
However, as noted here, Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited is much more than an oil & gas company!
Kumul Petroleum recognised that the petroleum industry requires specialist trade skills not necessarily used by other industries in the country, skills that will increasingly be needed as petroleum projects come into operation in the coming years. This rationale drove the establishment of the Kumul Petroleum Academy at Idubada, alongside the Port Moresby Technical College, in 2015.
The Academy is a world-class training facility that graduates competency assessed junior technicians in electrical, instrumentation, mechanical and production disciplines. In 2018, a simulated Safe Live Processing Plant, costing K12.5 million, was installed to enhance the facility’s ability to train process technicians.
Sixty trainees have received UK City & Guilds accreditation since the Safe Live Processing Plant became operational in May 2019. ExxonMobil and Kumul Petroleum have sponsored male and female students at the Academy. On graduation, the first 2016 intake of 32 students under ExxonMobil and Kumul Petroleum scholarship programmes all found employment.
Kumul Petroleum Holdings supports the Government’s ambition to achieve the NEROP goal of 70% of the population having access to electricity by 2030.
Construction of more than 165 kilometres of low voltage power transmission lines in the Hela and Southern Highlands provinces in recent years has enabled PNG Power to connect a large number of rural communities in these two provinces to the main high voltage Ramu grid transmission lines. The engagement of local companies in this construction work has been maximised wherever possible.
Transmission line construction continues elsewhere in the country, such as in New Ireland Province alongside support of other rural electrification initiatives such as micro-hydro plants.
The impacts of Covid-19 in recent years demonstrated the fragility of the country’s health system and Kumul Petroleum donated more than K5 million to assist the national response to this pandemic, alongside its other health-related support initiatives.
Kumul Petroleum has an agreement with the Angau Memorial Hospital in Lae to provide funding of K15 million over 3 years to upgrade their cancer services and also donated K10 million to assist in the construction of a cancer treatment centre at Port Moresby General Hospital. An MOA signed with the National Department of Health and the Port Moresby General Hospital will provide K50 million over 5 years to establish a National Heart Centre. This facility was opened by HRH Princess Anne in May 2022 and renamed the Kumul Petroleum National Heart Centre.
Apart from these major health support initiatives, the company has funded other facilities in the country such assisting the Southern Highlands Provincial Health Authority to construct a building for a kidney dialysis unit, equipment to Nonga Base Hospital and donating ambulances to rural health centres.
For more information on Kumul Petroleum’s support of the PNG health sector please view a short video on this topic...
Kumul Petroleum supports a number of sporting codes, enabling many community members to participate in matches within the country and overseas.
The company has continued to attend and sponsor annual charity fundraising golf events at courses in Lae and Port Moresby, Kumul Petroleum Charity Golf Challenge events have raised funds for causes such as Life Care PNG and the PNG Olympic Committee. Cricket has been supported for a number of years - during 2021 funding of K1.2 million for Cricket PNG assisted the national side with the preparations necessary for it to compete in the T20 World Cup.
There has been a long association with the Kroton Wigmen rugby league club as franchise owner, where Kumul Petroleum has invested over K13 million in direct funding to the club as well as supporting the construction of their stadium in Tari at the cost of K5 million. In 2022, an agreement was finalised to fund the PNG Rugby Football Union to a total of K10 million over three seasons, from 2022 to 2024.
Kumul Petroleum continued its platinum sponsorship of the PNG Football Association’s premier competition, the National Soccer League, in the 2020 season, providing K2 million for that year, double the support provided in the previous year.
In preparation for forthcoming LNG developments in the country, KPHL intends to establish a world-class heavy steel fabrication facility, capable of manufacturing many of the material building blocks required by large-scale projects. The facility will be constructed on over 60 hectares of land adjacent to the current LNG plant just outside Port Moresby and close to the Motukea international port. The planned facility will have two main production lines - for structural steel fabrication and pipeline and pipe spools fabrication, and include necessary large laydown areas for materials and assembly.
Prime Minister James Marape, Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua and local landowner leader Sir Moi Avei alongside KHPL directors and senior management of petroleum companies attended the groundbreaking ceremony for this facility in May 2022.
Over the years, Kumul Petroleum has supported cultural festivals, such as the Tufi Tapa and Tattoo Festival in 2022. The company has provided books through the Buk Bilong Pikinini organisation to primary schools and higher-level educational establishments, who have also been assisted with the donation of computers and other equipment such as that to Passam High School and the Lae University of Technology. Other community support has been in the form of finance or kind, such as the solar lighting kits provided to the management and children of PNG Life Care in Port Moresby.
Whilst gas developments in the country result in the export of LNG to overseas customers, Kumul Petroleum has a focus on maximising the utilisation of gas within PNG, for power generation or chemical manufacture.
Agreements with operators of LNG developments include a ‘domestic market obligation’ provision; this is a requirement for a certain percentage of gas to be made available for consumption within the country. At present, the only domestic use of gas is as feedstock by the NiuPower and Dirio power plants located close to the LNG plant site at Caution Bay.
Kumul Petroleum has signed an MOU with the Ministry of International Trade and Investment to provide power solutions in the Special Economic Zones that are being established around the country. These solutions could involve the use of gas alongside renewable energy sources such as hydro and solar.
In coastal locations floating storage and regasification plants (FSRP) could be established to store LNG transported from the Caution Bay LNG plant for regasification to power electricity generation plants.