Star Mountain Plaza Project a reality

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Photo courtesy of PIKSA Papua New Guinea from Photographer Roan Paul showing Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Hon. Peter O'Neill, MP unveiling the plaque during the launch of phase one of construction site at Hohola in Port Moresby. Looking on is Governor for Western Province - Hon. Ati Wobiro, MP, MRDC CEO - Mr Augustine Mano, Vice President Hilton Worldwide - Mr Paul Hutton, Governor for Southern Highlands - Hon. William Powi, MP
Photo courtesy of PIKSA Papua New Guinea from Photographer Roan Paul showing Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Hon. Peter O’Neill, MP unveiling the plaque during the launch of phase one of construction site at Hohola in Port Moresby. Looking on is Governor for Western Province – Hon. Ati Wobiro, MP, MRDC CEO – Mr Augustine Mano, Vice President Hilton Worldwide – Mr Paul Hutton, Governor for Southern Highlands – Hon. William Powi, MP

The construction of a world-class facility under the Star Mountain Plaza Limited, a joint-venture between three major Provincial Landowner companies, Mineral Resources Star Mountain (MRSM), Mineral Resources Ok Tedi (MROT) and Petroleum Resources Kutubu Limited (PRK) that will host the 2018 APEC Summit in Port Moresby, is now a reality and in its first phase of construction after the development of the initial concept in 2012.

Under the trusteeship of Mineral Resources Development Company Limited (MRDC) the company has set upon a visionary goal to develop one of the most ambitious landowner investments in Papua New Guinea. MRDC CEO, Mr Augustine Mano described the project as a three-year marathon journey with design, re-engineering and continued economic re-modelling in building a world-class facility. He said with only less than three years before the 2018 APEC Summit, the construction of a world-class Hotel with 200 rooms was well under way, along with a five-story car park, a convention centre including a 160 room residential tower also planned to be constructed before the start of the APEC Summit in 2018.

“Star Mountain Plaza will not only transform the Port Moresby Landscape, but also set a bench mark for high rise buildings in PNG. Mr Mano said the project alone would create the critical mass necessary to be the address of choice for business, pleasure and entertainment in the country.

“The project of such magnitude in the property sector has never been done before by a PNG company and more so a challenging economic condition. But it takes sheer courage and confidence to undertake such project.” Mr Mano commended the owners of Star Mountain Plaza, the respective boards of Mineral Resource Star Mountain, Mineral Resource Ok Tedi and Petroleum Resource Kutubu who have given their absolute commitment to this project.

“To the landowners of Ok Tedi and Fly River Provincial Government, this is their next Ok Tedi.” Mr Mano said over the last five years when Ok Tedi was in its prime operation the average dividend paid to both MROT (Mineral Resource Ok Tedi) and MRSM (Mineral Resource Star Mountains) was around K30 million annually.

“The last three years with barely no dividends coming from the mine, income from other investments growing over the last five years have contributed only K10 million, which is a third of what it used to receive from the Ok Tedi mine.” Mr Mano said revenue generated from the other investments was not sufficient to satisfy the growing population, expectation and the changing social obligations “The Star Mountain Plaza when fully operational will fill the gap and eventually replace Ok Tedi’s income stream.”

He added that it was also a celebration of Petroleum Resource Kutubu and its diverse growing investment portfolio outside the oil and gas sector. “PRK brings credibility into the project with total asset of K1.8 billion and K1.2 billion in net asset. Together the combined balance sheet of these three entities amount to total assets worth well over K2.4 billion and a net asset of K1.8 billion.”

He said MRDC was proud to have assisted in the growth of these companies particularly through the challenging times of the past. “And to lead with major developments like this is indeed a testament to our success. The total cost of the Star Mountain Plaza is K1.1 billion which involves funding through partnership wit ANZ bank and the true spirit of the Private-Public Partnership to host APEC 2018. With the signing of the management agreement the largest global brand Hilton two weeks ago, reinforces confidence in business and tourism in this country.” Mr Mano also stressed that the project was due for completion before 2018.

“After 40 years of independence the Star Mountain Project will transform the mindset of landowners, as well as collectors to developers.”

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