KPHL managing director, Wapu Sonk; Ihu SEZ Development Company Peter Kengemar and Secretary of the Department of International Trade & Investment Mrs Jacinta Warakai-Manua with the signed MOU.

Kumul Petroleum signs MOU with Ihu SEZ!

As a follow up from the agreement signed between the Ministry of International Trade and Investment and Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited earlier this year, the management of the Ihu SEZ have now also signed an MOU with KPHL.

Wapu Sonk, Managing Director of Kumul Petroleum Holdings said, “KPHL is happy to collaborate with the Ihu SEZ Development Company to carry out feasibility studies on possible power generation solutions for their particular area.”

“We will look at the most appropriate power solutions for the Ihu SEZ, which could include use of DMO gas from the Papua LNG Project, gas from other fields where KPHL is the operator or renewable energy sources such as hydro.”

The managing director of the Ihu SEZ Development Company, Peter Kengemar, noted that, “the Ihu SEZ, established in 2020, is geographically and strategically located close to the well heads and pipeline of the Papua LNG Project.”

“The SEZ has been designated for industrial downstream processing and as mentioned by Minister Maru earlier this year, SEZ’s will not be viable unless they have access to a source of affordable electricity”, he added.

Mr Sonk noted,”KPHL will carry out feasibility studies on potential sources for the generation of electricity and make recommendations on what is commercially viable, whilst it will be the responsibility of the SEZ Development Company to liaise with local landowners, LLGs, the Gulf Provincial Government and the Ministry of International Trade and Investment as may be necessary to progress the recommended options.”

The MOU signing was witnessed by Richard Maru, the Minister for International Trade and Soroi Eoe, member for Kikori and Commerce Minister.

Minister Maru reiterated that any SEZ in the country would have to comply with certain basic requirements, which included clear land ownership, road, air and sea access and especially reliable and affordable power.

“I am hoping that the involvement of Kumul Petroleum investigating power options will result in cheap and affordable electricity for this SEZ,” said the Minister.

Mr Sonk noted that KPHL could also be involved in the SEZ as an investor if it was found that it was feasible to process and value add gas and produce chemicals such as methanol or urea.

“As a national company we are prepared to proceed with a project even if the commercial rate of return is less than what is usually required, so that the consequent multiplier effects of employment and local business development can be enjoyed.”

Mr Sonk stated,” As I have said previously, as the national petroleum and energy company, KPHL stands ready to provide appropriate power solutions for the country’s SEZ’s.”