22 Jul 2010

PNG's LNG project in Southern Highlands is helping push up truck hire costs

10:23 am on 22 July 2010

The LNG project in Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands Province is attracting trucking firms operating in the Highlands region with lucrative offers.

But the Post Courier newspaper reports that's created a shortage in trucks for other businesses who have to hire smaller locally owned trucks at much higher rates than usual.

The LNG project is offering rates that double what other businesses, like Super Value Stores and Daewon, usually pay trucking firms.

But local media says businesses are now having to increase the prices of basic store goods, affecting close to three million people in five provinces, to cover truck hire costs.

A Transport officer with the Super Value Group says for example from Lae, the normal charge for a single container to Mt Hagen was below 1,435 US dollars.

But he says that has now risen to more than 2,152 US dollars to match the current rate being offered by the LNG project.