KRAMER Ausenco is investing in its new generation of leaders to take the business to the next level, according to the engineering and project management firm.

At the company’s Christmas party held in Port Moresby, chief executive Frank Kramer stressed the importance of young leadership in the group.

The young managers from Kramer’s offices across the Pacific form a key part of the company’s growth strategy, and were among more than a 100 invitees at the Grand Papua Hotel where the function was held.

The firm is succession planning and Mr Kramer introduced a part of the future leadership team in Rovaly Sike as country manager Solomon Islands, Jay Jameson as Vanuatu country manager, Konrad Lober as country manager Samoa and Adam and Michael Kramer who work closely with him on the group’s strategy and development.

Mr Kramer acknowledged the firm’s senior professionals as well, among them PNG’s first female engineer Finkewe Zurenuoc.

Ms Zurecnuoc is a role model and mentor to young female engineers like Julieth Jiap now working with the group, Mr Kramer said.

He welcomed Benjamin Warner as a senior project manager based in Port Moresby, and Ian Gray as general manager-oil, gas and LNG who will be working between countries.

Mr Gray brings more than 25 years of hydrocarbon experience to the business.

Mr Kramer said the time is right for the company to continue its expansion plans, particularly within the Pacific region where the economies are smaller than that of PNG.

The immediate focus however, will be to increase its business in PNG, especially when the country is preparing to host several projects within the mining, petroleum and energy sectors, he said.

2015, a year Mr Kramer described as “volatile and difficult” because of depressed commodity prices, but a year in which the group performed above budget expectations.

Despite the current downturn in the world economy, the firm enters 2016 with a significant increase in revenue levels, and with the operating environment in PNG showing signs of improvement, he added.