By James A. Loyola
ICTSI South Pacific, a subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), now enjoys the support of Noho-Magae, an organization representing the Baruni and Tatana communities in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
In a statement, ICTSI said Noho-Magae has thrown its full support behind the company, joining as shareholders of Motukea International Terminal (MIT) in Port Moresby.
“This is a momentous occasion for our communities. ICTSI has shown good intent throughout our negotiations and we are proud to be partners of MIT,” said Motukoitabu assembly Chairman Opao Udia who is also the chairman of Tatana-Araira Development Association (TADA).
Opao added that, “we are confident that global port operator ICTSI will bring industry proven best practices to Papua New Guinea, and our communities – as partners -– will benefit from the opportunities stemming from the implementation of international standards.”
“ICTSI is delighted to have Noho-Magae on board to represent the interests of the Baruni and Tata communities,” said MIT Chief Executive Officer Edward Muttiah.
He added that, “today, we commence a 25-year journey and the strong support of our community partners has ensured a solid foundation built on trust, respect, and mutual commitment to build a world-class maritime facility – one that will, in time, become a source of pride for the nation.”
ICTSI Senior Vice President and Head of Asia Pacific Christian R. Gonzalez expressed optimism on the project, saying ICTSI is “privileged and excited to have been granted the opportunity to collaborate with our host community to jointly realize the potential of the Port of Motukea as a logistics hub. This mutually beneficial goal would not be possible without the support of our host communities.”
The formalization of the shareholder agreement followed the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the community representatives and MIT last year to establish a collaborative framework for the successful operation of MIT.
MIT will handle all international container and general, non-bulk cargo vessels through the international wharf at Motukea. ICTSI expects to commence operation mid-May.
MIT has also committed to work closely with community leaders to implement meaningful community engagement projects. The ICTSI Foundation will support MIT initiatives identifying high-impact programs for overall community development.