PNG RETIREMENT FUND TAKES OVER SHELL

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OPERATIONS
Oil company sells assets for $3 million

By Eric Tapakau PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 17, 2010) – MEMBERS of National Superannuation Fund (Nasfund) Limited are now owners of the former Shell Oil Products Ltd refuelling depot at the Jackson’s Airport.

A takeover was formalised yesterday.

The takeover also saw the end of an 82 year reign of Royal Dutch Shell in Papua New Guinea as they formally handed over their remaining asset in the country.

Shell will concentrate on its strategy to focus on serving fewer and larger airports throughout the world.

The purchase of the Shell asset at the airport was for a total sum of US$3.15 million.

The new company that has taken over the business operations of Shell Oil Products PNG Ltd (SOPL) is Aviation Operations and Aircraft Refuelling (PNG) Ltd (AOAR) and is 49 per cent owned by NAS Aviation Ltd (40 per cent owned by Nasfund) and 51 per cent owned by New Caledonia based Pacific Petroleum Company through its subsidiary, Pacific Islands Energy.

While the new owners are AOAR the trading name of the company will be known as Pacific Energy Aviation (PNG) Ltd.

The investment opportunity came about after the local Shell Oil Products Ltd (SOPH) management opted to buy out SOPL when Shell decided to get out of its PNG interest in 2009 as part of its new global focus.

An approach was made to Nasfund to fund the purchase through a loan facility.

After considering the merits of the proposal the Nasfund board not only approved finance but sought equity as a shareholder.

A new business was established in NAS Aviation Limited with Nasfund holding 40 per cent share and SOPL management holding 60 per cent share (three individuals with 20 per cent each).

NAS Aviation Ltd successfully negotiated a JV with New Caledonia based Pacific Petroleum Company (PPC) through its subsidiary arm, Pacific Islands Energy (PIE) to purchase SOPL.

The owners of PPC, incidentally, are all former Shell managers.

This agreement was signed with Shell Overseas Holdings Limited (owner of SOPL) on March 8.

The board of the AOAR is chairman Bruno Daly, Albert Moux (chairman of PPC), Patrick Moux, representing PPC and William Lamur and Sinton Spence representing NAS Aviation Ltd.

The general manager is former SOPL country manager Henry Elias.

All former staff of SOPL have been retained by the new company.

The local operation of the company is at Jacksons Airport where it services all aviation businesses including Air Niugini, its major customer, Ok Tedi, Hevi Lift, Tropic Air, Helifix and most other level airlines in the country.

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