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Steamships strengthens position as Papua LNG’s energy and resource partner of choice

08 Dec 2023

Steamships strengthens position as Papua LNG’s energy and resource partner of choice

Steamships’ logistics division has invested more than Kina 80 million (approximately USD21 million) in the acquisition of three tug and barge sets to support Papua LNG projects. These tugs and barges have been transferred into the Papua New Guinean flag, expanding the availability of high quality locally owned marine assets available to LNG operators and their subcontractors.  This significant investment strengthens Steamships’ position as the preferred partner of choice for logistics solutions within PNG, including the resources sector. 

MV Yelia, MV Aird Hills and the two barges, CEL 501 and CEL 502 are already in country and operating for TotalEnergies and others. The third tug and barge set, MV Lolo and CEL 202, is due to arrive by the end of December 2023.

All tugs are equipped with cranes to support the operating capacity of the barges and ensure maximum trading versatility. Furthermore, the tugs are equipped with conventional twin screw propellors and bow thrusters and the vessels are ideally suited to shallow water operations. Each barge is equipped with a powerful bow ramp which allows for easy roll-on/roll-off (RORO) loading of various cargoes.

“Steamships investment in modernising and expanding its tug and barge fleet, supports our vision to be the partner of choice for the Papua LNG project which we believe will help drive the country's economic development well into the future,” said Steamships’ Chief Operating Officer Chris Daniells. 

Steamships was delighted to secure a TotalEnergies contract for a tug and barge set earlier this year.  Commencing operations in October 2023, MV Yelia and CEL 502 have successfully completed two voyages up the Purari River, transporting 1,500-2,000 tonnes of aggregates from Port Moresby to Herd Base on each sailing.  She is currently undertaking her third voyage. Meanwhile MV Aird Hills is also operating on the Purari River and is helping with berthing of all project barges, standby for safety as well as assisting with downstream transits.

“Conditions on the river continue to be challenging due to strong currents during heavy rainfall and shallow water during dry periods. All stakeholders are working well together to ensure operations run smoothly and more importantly, safely.” said Daymon Pnematicatos, General Manager – Projects, Steamships Logistics Division. 

Steamships has focused on ensuring that the benefits of Papua LNG are felt throughout PNG.  A key pillar to this approach is Gulf Maritime Services (GMS), a joint-venture formed in June 2023 between Steamships, GFS and the Gulf Provincial Government.  GMS will contribute to the economic development of the Gulf through hiring and training maritime cadets from Gulf Province. Furthermore, GMS has pledged support to Community Grants Projects in health and education. 

Steamships Managing Director, Rupert Bray states, “Steamships is pleased to have signed the MOU with GFS and the Gulf Provincial Government to form Gulf Maritime Services. The signing signifies the confidence in which the Gulf Provincial Government, local businesses and landowners have in Steamships as a partner to create opportunities for development within the region and the establishment of sustainable business.” 


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