View Full Version : Milne Bay Magic - Profile of PNG's biggest maritime province

28-09-2002, 07:31 PM
A profile of PNG's biggest maritime province

Milne Bay Province is located at the most southeastern tip of the mainland of Papua New Guinea.

It is the largest maritime province of the 19 provinces in the country and boasts some of the spectacular reef and island structures.

The province covers a total land area of approximately 14,000 square kilometers and sea area of 115,230 square kilometers with small islands surrounding the mainland numbering 435.

There are 8 main island groups: The D'Entrecasteaux Group, the Trobriand Islands, Louisiade Archipelago, the Conflict Group, the Samarai Group, Woodlark and Laughlan Group and the Engineer Archipelago.

Weather patterns in province vary greatly between the mainland and the outer islands with unpredictable torrential rainstorms.

October to December - consistent and favorable weather,
January to March - experiences strong south-easterly winds,
July - August - rainy season.

Average annual rainfall for the province is 20,437.3 mm.

Alotau records the highest rainfalls annually with 31,084.6 millimetres per annum.

Grooming the Toilamlaguyau (a traditionally built boat) ready for sail for trade : Photographs by: Jutta Malnic.

28-09-2002, 07:39 PM
The economy of the province is greatly dependent on primary produce. Majority of the population are involved in subsistence agriculture and fisheries, and only 35.7% are engaged in some form of income generating activities.

Major provincial exports include; log- ging, cocoa, oil palm, gold & copper, fish and other marine products.

The Provincial Administration's policy on business or the economic sector development is similar to the national policy in making the environment conducive to the growth of small businesses in the province.

The major drawer of investments or business in the province is currently con- centrated in the retailing sector however; the agriculture and the tourism sector have great potential, which is still very much under-developed.

Another area of interest for the provincial administration is the farming and export of vanilla. Woodlark Islands has been chosen for this project because most of the land is categorized as state land.

28-09-2002, 08:10 PM
This year 2002, the Milne Bay Provincial Administration has adopted the Programme Budgeting Structure, which is appropriated to three main pro- grammes; the provincial, the district and the local level governments.

Under the three main programmes there are seven sectoral programmes, each represented by a policy goal :

Policy and Administration
Economic . Education
Law and Order . Infrastructure
Community Service

Milne Bay Provincial Development Policies recognizes the need to give enough attention to each sectoral programme to provide a balanced development in the province.

Milne Bay Acting Administrator, Wilfred Leleca

28-09-2002, 08:11 PM
Mining Misima Gold Mine is the single-most economic venture that prompted income creation and generated employment in the province since its establishment in 1997.

The mine winds down this year and expects to end its operations in the next five years. The mine workforce will be reduced from 700 to 390 who will work on stockpiles of low grade that have been left behind since the mine commenced.

28-09-2002, 08:14 PM
Samarai Plastics Limited was established and registered on Samarai Island as a Slipway company in the late 1980's to provide the much-need- ed service for boat owners in the sur- rounding islands and the Milne Bay province as a whole.

In the early 1990s the company ventured into boat building with the production of its first fiberglass boat and moved its operations from
Samarai Island to Alotau due to logistic reasons.

The Company's General Manager, Roy Moore said: "Milne Bay being a marine province and wholly dependent on sea transport, the introduction of locally man- ufactured fiberglass boats was a step in the right direction towards the production of affordable products in the country."

The company is presently the only manufacturing entity in Milne Bay.
Realizing the potential to expand, the company made a proposal to the Yamaha Corporation in Japan and their distributors Ela Motors Limited to produce fiber- glass boats under the Yamaha brand name for distribution within PNG.

In 1996, it became one of the fIrSt Yamaha Corporation's factories in the South Pacific with production peaking at 1,000 units in the same year

The majority of request for the fiber- glass boats, which range from 19 footers to 23 footers, are external from countries such as Fiji, Vanuatu and the Marshall Islands. Domestic orders also amount to a large percentage of sales.

One main advantage for the company is its location. It is located adjacent to the main seaport in Alotau. However, the only constraint is the lack of direct ship- ping for exports.

Samarai Plastics has come a long way in a short time and has contributed sig- nificantly to the economy of the province as a cottage industry. Approximately K300,000 has been invested by the company into staff housing over the past year to ensure economic development coin- cides with social development and welfare.

Staff strength at the factory stands at 14 full time employees and casuals are hired when the need arises.

The company is supported by an excellent skill base. Much of the required training is provided in Japan under agreement with Yamaha Corporation of Japan.

Samarai Plastics Ltd. Finished products ready for distribution to Ela Motors :

28-09-2002, 08:27 PM
The oil palm industry in Milne Bay started in 1985 following an initiative by the PNG government to bring long term, sustainable economic development to the province. A joint venture was set up between the Government and the Commonwealth Development Corporation to jointly own and fmance Milne Bay Estates.

The original project proposal was to plant 6,000 hectares of oil palm and build a mill capable of 30 tonnes fresh fruit bunches per hour. However, in less than two decades, the company has expanded to 8,000 hectares and the mill capacity to 45 tonnes fresh fruit bunches per hour.

The company has storage capacity for 8,000 tonnes of oil, of which 6,000 is on site near the Alotau main wharf from which oil and kernels are exported.

"Establishment of the Milne Bay Estates started the most viable agriculture industry in Papua New Guinea", stated Colin Benton, Managing Director.

The biggest problem currently facing the operations of the company is the state of the roads.

"Lack of maintenance of existing infrastructure by the national and provincial governments has contributed greatly because this type of agriculture relies heavily on roads."

Projections for year 2002 are:
Estate FFB -186,000 Tonnes
Small Holder FFB -12,000 Tonnes . CPO -45,000 Tonnes
PK 10,000 Tonnes
(FFB - Fresh Fruit Bunch,
CPO - Crude Palm Oil, PK - Palm Kernel)

The Milne Bay estates oil project is the most commercial agricultural income generating venture in the province and boosts a workforce of over 2,500.

Trucks carrying fruit bunches to the mill for processing :

28-09-2002, 08:32 PM
The Nawae Construction Limited was formed in Lae, Morobe, 26 years ago. In the early 1990's the company moved its headquarters to Alotau, Milne Bay Province and commenced operations mainly building bridges, civil construc- tion, wharves and drainage systems with- in the province. The company also provides barge charters and mechanical repairs of earthmoving equipment.

Manager of Nawae Construction, Andrew Chan affmned that Milne Bay province is quiet with regards to crime and it is situated in a good location to conduct business. 'The only drawback to development is the lack of infrastructure such as insuffi- cient power, water supply and sewerage in the town area," he said.

Another problem he said is the availability of land for commercial purposes. It is understood the relevant authorities are currently addressing the problems.

Mr Chan feels that more manufacturers should come in and set up in the province to balance out the existing businesses like trade stores and retail outlets.

Downstream processing of oil palm and logs is important to province's econ- omy. Apart from that, the fisheries is becoming a fast growing industry in the province.

28-09-2002, 08:36 PM
Milne Bay Industries Limited conducts large scale logging in the province around the Sagarai area and other parts of Milne Bay.

The company began logging operations in 1997 in a joint venture with the local landowners and established a sawmill at Gamadoudo, directly across the bay from the Alotau Township, known as the Ulabo logging camp.

The main exports are cut logs and processed sawn timber, which are shipped directly to Aus1;ralia from Alotau. Australia is the major buyer of timber from the company.

Future plans of the company include venturing into downstream processing of timber, and establishing a timber terminal in the area to service the province.

However, Milne Bay Industries General Manager, Joseph Wong, noted that they are seeking a joint venture approach with interested investors in order to accomplish this project.

He said with the setting up of this facility as a central processing location for timber in the province, investors would flock to the province and set up factories because of the supply and availability of raw material.

The company has contributed a lot over the years towards the maintenance and construction of the existing road system around the Ulabo logging camp. The company has begun construction of a road, which will connect the Central province via Magarida to Milne Bay.

It employs a workforce of more than 600 personnel from the local area.

[/b] Milne Bay Industries: Cut and treated timber ready for expaort to Australia :[/b]

28-09-2002, 08:40 PM
POMINS Limited is a 100 per cent locally owned company which was formed in 1993 after Minnie Bate, Managing Director, personally researched the benefits and applications of herbal products and the potential of natural herbs as an alternative form of medication.

The market potential for this nature of business is still far from being fully utilized. However, the company's products are beginning to merge into the competitive market with other imported or manufactured medications.

The company produces Herbal Oils and Herbal Creams under the brand name GEMINS. The products are sold by a well-known Pharmacy in Port Moresby. The Gemins brand is also sold in Goroka, Lae, and Madang through individual distributing networks.

The export potential of this product is still an issue to be determined.

28-09-2002, 08:41 PM
Milne Bay province is accessible by air and sea. Developments are underway to construct a road link to the Central Province.

Gurney International Airport accommodates both domestic and international facilities and is located a 20 minutes drive from the main business center.

The airport presently caters for Air Niugini flights and other third level airlines operating daily to the province. International flights are soon to re-commence with direct flights to Cairns, Australia.

28-09-2002, 08:48 PM
Infrastructure in the province, espe- cially with roads are currently inade- quate. To avoid rapid deterioration of the existing road networks, the provin- cial government has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with certain private companies like Milne Bay Industries, who are heavily involved in logging in the province, to maintain the main access roads.

"We saw the need to enter into that arrangement so that we can harvest organic coffee that is grown in the highlands of Milne Bay," said Acting Administrator, Wilfred Leleca.

The MOA was signed in December 2001 between the Provincial Government and the company to build and maintain a road that will extend to Magarida in the Central Province.

Government support to private sector The Provincial Administration has,
through the Division of Commerce and Industry, established a scheme which will be known as the Micro Credit Scheme or Micro Finance Fund to promote broad-based development.

For sustainability, a company will be established to operate MIFF as an independent entity, separate from the provincial government.

The Provincial Government engaged the National Research Institute, Dr Agogo Mawuli to conduct necessary studies into the viability of the scheme.

Taking into account the current economic situation of the country, the scheme targets people who would normally be unable to obtain monies from existing commercial banks.

The scheme is expected to enhance income creation and employment throughout the province.

According to Mr Leleca, the Milne Bay Administration has identified two priority areas to address, based on current statistics. The first is the economic sector in which the GDP has fallen to an all-time low of about 2 per cent.

To arrest the problem, the business arm of the provincial govemrnent, Milne Bay Properties Limited, is assisting cocoa block owners and coffee block owners to rehabilitate their blocks at no expense to them.

The second area. is health. The Administration's policy on health is to improve the health of its people. Although the health status of the province is favorable in comparison to the national average, deaths among mothers (3.7/100), and infants (64/100) are high.

The present declining health status can be attributed to factors, which are external to health, including inadequate resourcing at national, provincial, district and LLG levels and the high cost of delivering services.

28-09-2002, 08:52 PM
Napatana Lodge, an eco-lodge, is the first of its kind in Milne Bay.

Conveniently located on the beachfront of the Bay at the edge of Alotau town, the lodge consists of four (4) self-contained bungalows and a backpacker's dormitory all blended into a village setting.

The bungalows are designed for the tropics with high roofs and a lot of ventilation to provide maximum comfort for visitors.

Gretta Todurawai, President of Milne Bay Chamber of Commerce and a Director of Napatana Lodge said that her main vision is to foster eco-tourism in the province to bring rural development into the local villages.

Napatana Lodge

28-09-2002, 08:55 PM
Skull Caves
Hot Springs
Wreck Dives
Extinct Volcanoes
WW2 War RElics
WW2 Wreck Dives
Mountain Trekking

Traditionally built Yam House

28-09-2002, 08:58 PM
The focus of the business is to lure backpackers and eco-tourists from abroad to visit the province and experience the local lifestyle.

The lodge organises excursions and local tours to East Cape, Wagawaga and along the north coast as far as Dogura and Cape Vogel.

Masurina Lodge is one other natable guesthouse in the province. Purchased in 1978 by Masurina Limited, it has been serving visitors to Alotau for many years.

Other hotels in the province include:

Alotau International Hotel

28-09-2002, 09:00 PM
Veawai Melanesian Resort

Veawai Melanesian Resort Hotel provides a peaceful getaway for tourists :

28-09-2002, 09:04 PM
Speaking in her capacity as President of the Milne Bay Chamber of Commerce, Ms Todurawai said: "Alotau and the Milne Bay Province as a whole, is the ideal location for conducting business.

"The province is fortunate to have a less serious law and order problem in comparison to most provinces in Papua New Guinea."

28-09-2002, 09:07 PM
For more information on Milne Bay Province and its investment opportunities, please contact:

The Office of the Governor,
Milne Bay Province
P.O. Box 104,
Alotau. MBP
Papua New Guinea

Telephone: +675 641 1256
Fax: +675 641 1186

Ms Gretta Todurawai,
Alotau Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 104,
Alotau. MBP
Papua New Guinea

Telephone: +675 641 0588
Fax: +675 641 1290

Email: grettak@daltron.com.pg

28-09-2002, 09:09 PM
Investment Promotion Authority
Visit their website: www.ipa.gov.pg

28-09-2002, 10:28 PM
Land Area: 14,000 sq km
Sea Area: 115,230 sq km
Coastline: 2,120 sq km
Surrounding Islands: 435
Population: 209,054
Average Annual Growth Rate: 2.5%
Sex Ratio: 108 Males per 100 Females
Populaton Density: 15 persons per sq km
No. of Languages: 40
Life Expectancy: 53.1 years
No. of Hospitals: 1
No. of District Hospitals: 2
Health Centres: 6
Aid Posts: 137
Literacy Rate: 77%
Elementary, Primary and Secondary Schools (incl. Vocational Schools): 248
Exports: Palm Oil, Copra, minerals, Coffee, Cocoa, Logs & Marine Products.

Storage tanks containintg palm oil ready for export:

07-07-2005, 07:37 PM
Average annual rainfall for the province is 20,437.3 mm.

Alotau records the highest rainfalls annually with 31,084.6 millimetres per annum.

I would love to visit this region next time im there.
BTW im not sure if Alotau receives THAT much rain considering the wettest place in the world is (arguably) Mt. Waialeale on Hawaii Island which receives 472 inches, 39 feet, 12 metres or 12 000mm a year.