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By Peter Korugl

LAE, Papua New Guinea (May 7, 1999 – The National)---A multi-million kina eco-tourism resort is being mooted for construction in Morobe Province.

The Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday confirmed the plan for the Eco-Resort which, when completed, will be the largest in the world.

The projected cost of the venture is about K 500 million (US$ 204 million) and the venue is the coast of Finschaffen.

Chamber president Alan McLay told The National that the Eco-Resort was being planned by a group of investors from Europe and the United States and was one of several projects on the drawing board for PNG.

Mr. McLay said the plan consisted of a five-story complex built around one the world's largest fish tanks.

He said the complex would house the main reception area, administration offices, restaurants, boutique shops and accommodation.

Mr. McLay said that luxury villas, containing between two to four bedrooms, would be built around the lagoons and surroundings, and tree houses would be built into the hill area, which would be only accessible by concealed narrow pathways.

"There are several projects that the group has on the drawing board, but the largest one and the one with the greatest involvement as far as Morobe is concerned is the Eco-Resort at Finschaffen," he said.

A nine-member team representing the investors is scheduled to visit Papua New Guinea this weekend to finalize plans for the project.

Mr. McLay said that while in Finschaffen, the group would meet landowners and clan leaders at the proposed project site and discuss matters of mutual interest.

He said they would also hold discussions and visit relevant government departments in Port Moresby.

The group plans to pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister Bill Skate.

Morobe Governor Luther Wenge welcomed the initiative, saying he supported the project in principal, although he did not have the details of the proposals.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

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