Puma resumes operations in PNG's Kavieng

 PUMA Energy PNG Ltd resumed operations in Kavieng, New Ireland, on Friday following a bomb scare that caused the company to temporarily stop work, says country manager Hulala Tokome.

What was later identified as an old gas bottle was unearthed near Puma’s tank farm facility last week causing the company to suspend supply in the province.

A construction company engaged by PNG Ports Corporation Ltd (PNG Ports) to carry out geotechnical survey work for the K112 million upgrade of the port facility, unearthed the old gas cylinder.

Commenting on the impact of the temporary closure Puma had enforced, Tokome said essential services were impacted such as aviation and power generation as well as critical services such as hospitals.

“The walk-in customer that travels in from remote locations to purchase fuel was also impacted,” he said.

Tokome said such shutdown of businesses had monetary impacts on their business.

“Even the continued deferring of the polling dates had a much bigger impact on our business having to let employees go to vote only for dates to be deferred.”

PNG Ports acting chief executive officer Rodney Begley said as the New Guinea Islands was the country’s main scene of action during World War II many war relics including bombs and other ordnance were found in New Britain and New Ireland and the port authority treated discoveries of such items seriously.

“The hazard area was cordoned off as it is PNG Ports’ utmost priority to keep everybody safe and maintain a safe working environment for all port users and stakeholders,” he said.

Begley said the port continued to operate normally while investigations were being carried out and PNG Ports worked closely with bomb disposal specialists to assess the threat and ensure the safe removal of the object.

“PNG Ports will continue with the upgrade works and going forward, contractors have been advised to report such matters immediately for safety purposes.”

The Kavieng Port, is one of 15 sea ports owned and operated by PNG Ports.

According to PNG Ports Ltd, all ports will be undergoing major rehabilitation works over the next few years.

The National / Pacific Business News

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