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Milne Bay Province What to see in Alotau and surrounding areas in Milne Bay Province

 
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  #1  
Old 28-09-2002, 07:31 PM
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Milne Bay Magic

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.
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Old 28-09-2002, 07:39 PM
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The Economy

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.
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Old 28-09-2002, 08:10 PM
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Provincial Budget Breakup

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
  • Health
  • 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
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Old 28-09-2002, 08:11 PM
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Mining

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.
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Old 28-09-2002, 08:14 PM
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Manufacturing

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 :
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Old 28-09-2002, 08:27 PM
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Oil Palm

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 :
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Old 28-09-2002, 08:32 PM
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Construction

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.
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Old 28-09-2002, 08:36 PM
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Timber Industry

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]
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Old 28-09-2002, 08:40 PM
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Potential

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.
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Old 28-09-2002, 08:41 PM
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Accessibility

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.
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