The Prime Minister James Marape says the Government wants a partner or investor like Puma Energy that can help the Government’s vision to create a low cost fuel and energy sector in the country.
And he has encouraged Puma Energy to remain and continue investing in PNG’s domestic fuel and energy market.
PM Marape said this week at Puma Energy’s Napanapa oil refinery outside Port Moresby on the occasion to mark 14 million man hours of incident free operations at its sites throughout the country over the last seven (7) years.
“I am happy to be here to witness and celebrate this world class safety milestone achieved by Puma Energy PNG staff and its contractor staff.
“On your milestone achievement of 14 million man hours without any lost time in incident, think big and think positive, expand and promote the fuel and energy needed for our domestic customers,’’ he said.
“Let me thank Puma Energy and those of you who have been working diligently in the last two years when we were stressed through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You remained at work and delivered to our country through your contractors, and the subsidiaries that work off the main Puma Company and I think the network of companies who feed off Puma Energy have been the beneficiary of the standard of safety and you have conducted yourself and you deserve special commendations.
“Going forward I would like to encourage Puma Energy in our country to also step out of where you are today. You are at a site in our country where it’s the first in as far as oil and gas business is concerned the first refinery in our country.
“You have acquired these assets and you have a feel of what it is all about and as a Government, my major focus going into the future and something that is critically important and to anchor our economy, is lower cost of power and lower cost of fuel in our country.
“We are looking for business partners who could assist us in filling this gap by finding solutions to lower the cost of fuel and lower the cost of power. And so I would like to take this opportunity to sound it out to people and Puma Energy, you are already here with us,’’ said PM Marape.
He said there are many ways Puma Energy could partner the Government and partner others in the industry.
“As a Government we are on the search for partners who could assist us in lowering the cost of energy, more so fuel of all kinds whether its jet fuel, fuel for ships, fuel for cars and the costs of fuel, energy and power must come down in our country.
“There is no secret and that is the intention of my Government. That is why I am strongly advocating for a specific portion of our domestic market of gas and for us to ensure that domestic market gas is secured in new gas fields we sign up and or translate that to companies that are already in the energy space into cheaper energy and fuel.
“So at this juncture without imposing upon you Puma Energy being the major importer and processor of fuel in our country the space is there for you and we look forward to partners who can be serious players in downstream fuel processing in the country,’’ he said.
PM Marape said that PNG produces oil and gas in the country and yet we have expensive fuel that is based out of Singapore pricing when we may be able to look for our own pricing.
“So Puma Energy that is something you can work in your board room and see whether you could be a partner of choice for us going forward.
“Whilst you do not have upstream gas and petroleum areas, you are already in the downstream area so how can you partner the Government and Government bodies like Kumul Petroleum, who are agents for seeking petroleum gas deals, you can fit in that gap as you have a refinery facility here and how you can utilize the gas and oil extracted locally here.
“I am encouraging you not to sell out and remain in our country going forward where some of our 10 million people will be needing fuel and energy and we need competition and a robust competition is good for our customers.
“I look forward to Puma Energy continuing to serve our country and clocking another safety man hours.
“Congratulations to Puma Energy, your management, and individual workers for contributing to this milestone safety record,’’ said PM Marape.