PNG Needs $471M Infrastructure Improvements For Water

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To meet expected Port Moresby demand

By Helen Tarawa

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, August 25, 2014) – EDA Ranu needs K1.2 billion [US$471,780,000] to rehabilitate its infrastructure to meet the water supply demand of a rapidly growing population in Port Moresby, chief executive officer Henry Mokono says.

Talks are being held with the Government, through the Independent Public Business Corporation, for a second water treatment plant to cost K300 million [US$117,945,000].

Mokono said Eda Ranu’s Mt Eriama treatment plant was reaching its maximum capacity of 184 million megalitres of water per day due to meet the increase in demand in the city.

"Right now we are reaching 164 million to 170 million megalitres of water per day on average, which is quite high and demands for new facilities," Mokono said.

Mokono was responding to claims that Eda Ranu was facing a similar financial crisis as PNG Power Limited, another State-owned enterprise.

According to reliable sources, Eda Ranu was facing financial problems and that workers were not getting their rents. Payments to creditors are also slow.

Mokono said Eda Ranu did not have a big operation but it cost between K3 million [US$1,179,000] and K4 million [US$1,573,000] every year on average to run its operations.

He said Eda Ranu paid its creditors on time.

"We have normal operations and we are not in strife and don’t have problems with any banks," he said.

"Our only concern is the assets which need repairing.

"We are working with IPBC to get funding.

"We do not have major bank overdrafts or loans that have exposed the company financially or any major debt financing of that sort.

"We try to manage our shares under prudent financial and budget management, we are not in red or under receivership."

Mokono however reveals that a big portion of its monthly revenue is paid to a Malaysian company under a Bill to Operate and Transfer arrangement and their partners.

Mokono could not disclose the exact amount but said it was "quite a large amount of money".

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