15 Jul 2010

PNG government says IPBC dividends will enable LNG commitments to be met

9:30 am on 15 July 2010

The government of Papua New Guinea says a special dividend from the Independent Public Business Corporation will enable it to meet outstanding commitments on the LNG project.

The IPBC was established in 2002 to hold the majority of state-owned commercial assets in trust to improve their performance and drive economic development through their prudent management.

The corporation's presented the government with a cheque for 13 million US dollars, the latest dividend in a total of 72 million dollars paid since 2003.

The Minister for Public Enterprises, Arthur Somare, says the money will enable the government to meet outstanding commitments on business development grants related to ExxonMobil's multi-billion dollar liquified natural gas project.

Minister Somare says before 2002 the then Privatisation Commission and SOEs were a big drain on government funds but under IPCB guidance the SOEs are performing well and most are paying the government corporate taxes.

However Minister Somare says despite the corporation's impressive record there's still room for improvement.