TWM Group, a local SME business in the waste and environmental services sector operating in PNG, was recently presented with a Level 3 Environment Permit (EPL-485) by the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA). This is the first of its kind to be issued to a Waste Management company in PNG and of this scale. L3 environment permits are applied where the greatest level of environment and social protection are necessary – generally granted to the large corporates within the Oil, Gas and Mining industries. TWM’s environment permit has more than 127 conditions, reflective of the highest levels of scrutiny to be applied by CEPA, as the Regulator on Environment Protection.

Established in 2011, TWM Group has been operating under a Level 2 (L2) Environment Permit administered by CEPA. The company has grown its core business in Waste Management and is now delivering other integrated technical services including Industrial Services, Environmental Advisory Services, Renewables and Skilled manpower services (Training and placements) all of which have contributed toward the development of TWM’s Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) in Central Province. With a greater range of services, TWM Group acknowledged the further responsibilities to both the environment and community, therefore a L3 Environment Permit was essential to meet these corporate obligations.

The L3 Environment Permit defines a suite of control measures intended to ensure potential for environment harm is avoided and/or minimized. It prescribes many commitments that TWM must meet for monitoring and measurement of environment aspects (i.e., air, water, noise, dust) and it stipulates a stringent record-keeping reporting requirement to CEPA.

“The L3 Environment Permit recently granted to our business will allow us to construct and safely operate our Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) to world-class standards. This is the first of its kind in PNG and for the Pacific island’s region”, said Kori Chan, Managing Director of the TWM Group. “This environment permit is reflective of the evolving legislation and increasing regulatory oversight and indicative of the increasing social expectation for companies to operate in a manner that is socially, environmentally and ethically responsible and aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).”

The Permit issuance is the culmination of a year’s worth of environment and social studies to develop the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment; significant financial investments in understanding the existing conditions, establishing facilities and controls to safeguard the environment beyond the projected 25+ years of operation; TWM Group’s activities passing the highest level of scrutiny by eminent social and environmental specialists from industry, government and educations sectors; and extensive public, government and community stakeholder engagements and consultation.

“I see the issuance of the Level 3 Environment Permit to TWM as an enabler to other development partners in PNG; they now have an in-country waste services facility that has the necessary statutory approvals for challenging waste streams”, said Michael Wau, Director of CEPA (Non-Renewable Resource Division – Environment Protection Wing).

“TWM Group has raised the bar as the first in the growing waste industry in PNG, and CEPA is equally proud in partnering in the journey”, Wau said.

The L3 Environmental Permit will allow TWM Group to undertake construction of the IWMF at Roku (a first and only such facility in PNG and the Pacific islands region) and conduct industrial wastewater treatment, quarrying and rock extraction; operate a full engineered landfill, design world-class standards capable of receiving municipal, construction and demolition and hazardous wastes; waste incineration including industrial and biomedical wastes; bulk waste storage, reprocessing, fixation and treatment including hazardous solids and liquids and material recovery and recycling (including glass, oil, organics, metals, paper and cardboard, putrescible materials and plastics).

The grant of the L3 Environment Permit places TWM Group among the Mining and Oil and Gas majors that hold such permits in PNG.

Photo Opportunity: CEPA presents the L3 Permit to TWM Group, Left to Right: Rob Batterham (TWM Group Special Projects & Environment Manager), Michael Chan (TWM Group CEO), Michael Wau (Director – CEPA Non-Renewable Resource Division, Environment Protection Wing); Fabian Taimbari (Acting Manager – CEPA Oil and Gas Branch) and Steve Nicholls (CEPA Technical Advisor).