Ramu Nico news from chinese websites:
|ISLANDS BUSINESS: NEW CHINESE INVESTOR TO DEVELOP PMIZ|
But scant details available about company
The PNG government has named a relatively unknown Chinese investor to be the major developer of the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone project.
The company, which calls itself Shenyang International Economic and Technical Cooperation Co. Ltd, employs up to 100 people and is expected to develop the US$300 million Pacific Marine Industrial Zone project.
Shenyang’s website (www.csyic.com) is slow to load and there are scant details about its operations.
A promotional website for Chinese businesses reveals the company, formed in 1984, describes itself as ‘mainly engaged in contracting projects abroad and undertaking national foreign aid projects”.
It says it provides labour service cooperation, joint ventures, import and export trade, and industrial projects. In fact, the entire company profile is presented in two paragraphs.
However, other revealing details show the company’s annual sales are about 50-100 million yuan a year, which is about K30 million (US$11 million). The site says the company employs between 51-100 employees and its main ‘business type’ is ‘trading model’.
Minister for Commerce and Industry, Gabriel Kapris named the company when asked by reporters last month in Madang.
However, he could not provide any more details about them except to say it was the company named to develop the project.
The PMIZ project will be funded by a K202 million (US$71 million) concessional loan from Exim Bank of China.
The main condition for the loan is that 70 percent of the project must go exclusively to a Chinese developer using Chinese technology, labour and equipment.
Other PNG firms can only bid for the remaining 30 percent of the contract that is if it becomes available. Another condition tied to the loan is that the main contractor’s profit margin will be 20 percent of the contract value.
Minister Kapris said the reason why the government decided to go to the Chinese was because it would be quicker to get the loan.
He said if the government was to go to the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, AusAID, European Union or any other development partner, it would take a while.
“With China, it will be quite fast. They have given us a grace period of five years, with a loan repayment time of 15 years,” he said.
He said since this was a concessional loan, the main contractor and supplier would be from the sponsoring nation while the sub-contracts for the project would be from PNG.
“We are here to protect the interest also of the people and will not just sit back and allow the financier to run the project.”
“I would also like to correct the public perception that there may be an influx of people. This will not be the case. We will make sure those who do come are genuine.”
While the minister was certain about this developer, little was known about two other Chinese companies earlier named in line with the project. They are Shandong Fisheries Management Bureau (Shandong Haiyang Yuye Guanli Ju), and the Binhai City Xingfa Fisheries Group (Shandong Sheng Binhai Shi Xingfa Yuye Jituan).
Both companies have neither the national nor international experience with Shandong being a provincial government level agency and Binhai City Zingfa Fisheries Group a city or prefecture level company.
Meanwhile, work has already started on the project site in Madang despite opposition from some landowner groups.
The 216-hectare site, which was originally a Catholic mission coconut plantation, has been cleared and fencing work progressing.
Minister Kapris was in Madang last month to meet with representatives of people in the impact area and to brief them on the progress of the project.
Kapris said the national government is expected to sign an agreement with the Exim Bank of China for a K202 million (US$71 million) loan for the project.
He said the government has made an initial investment of K28 million into the project and a further K44 million was allocated in the 2010 budget.
A government team had returned recently from China and the loan agreement was expected to be signed at the end of this month so that funds could be drawn down.
Meanwhile, six leaders of the landowner groups including those opposing the project had been taken on a government-funded trip last year to visit three of the 200 special economic zones in the Philippines.
The group spent eight days visiting the Subic Bay Free Port zone, Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Cavite Economic Zone and West Cebu Industrial Park.
The leaders, who have been supporting the project, said they were impressed with what they saw and want the Marine Park to go ahead.
However, the trip did not convince one of the leaders, Francis Gem, who is still firmly opposed to the project.
Gem said his delegation visited only the areas that had major investments and not a rural area comparable to their villages in Madang.
He said his people were concerned the spin-offs the government had been promising them has not become a reality so far.
In fact, he said the current K12 million contract on clearing and fencing has gone to a foreign-owned company and not to any umbrella landowner company formed for the project.
He said leaders including those supporting the project, had met with the Madang Governor last month to complain about the contract and spin-off work that has not been given to them.
“I am not happy with how the project is coming along,” he said. “I do not support this project.”
He said the trip to Philippines only revealed how his people would be exploited because all the spin-off work would go to those people with technical skills. “We do not have such expertise,” he said.
The judge has decided in fvour of the laintiffs to keep the injunction against submarine tailings pipe construction by Ramu Nico in Basamuk Bay---and full credit goes to the lawyer who stood and argued a cogent but complex case for two solid hours, without skipping a beat, while half the peanut gallery sat mesmerized and the other nattered away urgently and in contempt of court, in Mandarin. Here's Tiff with one of the landowners discussing the futility of the defendant's case after court Monday, as the crew from Sacred Lands Project roll away. They had just caught the MD of Ramu, Dr James Wang, leaving court with a smile and, to the question How can Ramu Nico assume submarine tailings will be environmentally safe when their own environmental plan calls for more rigorous research?---he responded, "OK." OK that Ramu has been illegally dumping grey waste water and sewage into the bay for the past 12 months in clear violation of their requirement to install a septic system? Or OK that because that has remained unmonitored by the DEC we can assume that 500 tonnes of hot submarine tailings spilling into the sea floor off Madang will be similarly unmonitored?
This is but a small step for the case ahead, and yet a giant leap for the morale of Madage. Thanks to you Tiff.
Just back from the Upper Arafundi and Upper Karawari Rivers, where the CEO of Boram Haus Sik, Dr. Louis Samiak, kindly joined us for rounds in several villages where no one had ever seen a doctor. But the very novelty of the visit made it hard for people to appreciate the gesture of Dr Samiak spending half his holiday to dispense meds in these remote corners. One man, for example, was diagnosed for an ulcer and given free meds, but compelled his relatives to paddle hours downriver to Amboin aid post [where there certainly is no doctor] for a 'real' diagnosis by the APO. Elsewhere, the Meakambut people came down from the caves for a day to the river for Dr. Samiak, who was able to provide camoquin to several with such inflamed spleens that were they to stumble in the bush they could very well explode. But they scolded us for having to travel to their clinic instead of having the doctor choppered to their doorstep on the mountain above.
So kudos for all the good doctors out there, especially Dr. Louis Samiak, whom we are now pleased to have join our team as a medical researcher.