KRAMER Ausenco has been awarded the engineering and project management contract for a residential, hotel and commercial office development project by Papua New Guinea’s Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC).

To be known as the Lakatoi City project, the redevelopment of land along the foreshore between Paga Hill and the Davy base is also expected to become a focal point for tourism and major future events, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in 2018.

This is to follow the relocation of port operations to the recently acquired Motukea port facility, IPBC chairman Paul Nerau said, adding that work would start on redeveloping the site once this was complete.

IPBC awarded the contract following a public tender process that was advertised within Papua New Guinea and the region, with the corporation saying the facility was essential for the nation.

Mr Nerau said this was an exciting time to be living in Port Moresby.

“The city and CBD will finally be free of port-related traffic and port operations which have become something of an eye-sore and a hindrance to the beautification and functionality of our city,” he said.

“This latest development will project us well into the future as a tourist destination and a modern, vibrant city,” he said.

IPBC managing director Garry Hersey said the next step was for the corporation to formalise the engagement of Kramer Ausenco to carry out master planning and to further develop concepts for the main wharf area, including the iconic signature building.

“The planning and concept stage will include a detailed project and financial analysis to support the proposed usage for the signature building,” he said.

“The precinct master plan will encompass initial engineering studies; traffic, power, water and sewerage requirements and a preliminary commercial feasibility analysis will also be conducted.”

Kramer Ausenco is expected to complete the master planning and concept development stage of the Lakatoi City project within 70 days of commencement.

IPBC will issue expressions of interest in regard to transaction and legal advice following this stage, which will see the IPBC partnering with the private sector in the development of this landmark project, Mr Hersey said.

“The master plan will include a proposed timeline showing key milestones for project implementation and we are proceeding on the basis that the site will be ready for APEC.”

Australia-based Kramer Ausenco is the largest locally established engineering and project management firm in PNG and the Southern Pacific region.

The company is experienced in managing environmental aspects and logistics; and has actively delivered a number of successful projects in Port Moresby including the new Steamships Harbour commercial buildings, Windward East Apartments and the Grand Papua Hotel.