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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 4, 2002 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Papua New Guinea’s standing as an international investment target has received a welcome boost, with the draw down of the first K 120 million to build the InterOil refinery at Napa Napa near Port Moresby.

InterOil announced it had received US$ 31 million from the refinery project’s principal lender, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an agency of the United States government.

This is the first draw down of the US$ 85 million loan from OPIC.

Both the PNG Government and Australian stock market reacted positively to the news, which drove shares in InterOil 10 percent higher.

This is the single largest direct loan OPIC has made and the first time a loan has been made for a project in Papua New Guinea.

The Washington-based OPIC issues loans to encourage US businesses to invest and compete in developing nations worldwide.

The loan advance would now allow the signing of the lump-sum contract to complete the refinery, with the first shipment of crude oil to the refinery expected by the end of next year.

InterOil director Christian Vinson said more than 350 construction jobs will be created, with approximately 100 full time staff needed to run the plant.

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

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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