PNG’s Star Mountain Plaza, which will host leaders from around the world at the APEC forum, is expected to open ahead of its planned schedule according to developers.

The landmark Star Mountain Plaza conference, accommodation and retail development is a multiuse facility, designed to help PNG attract more overseas visitors in future generations.

Mineral Resource Development Companies (MRDC) managing director Augustine Mano says construction on the venue is now expected to be completed in September – two months prior to the start of APEC.

Mr Mano says the project is on schedule due to the efforts of the 800 local workers who have worked in shifts 24 hours a day to ensure its early completion.

This workforce is expected to increase by a further 200 over the next six weeks as the company enters the next stage of construction. “It has been truly humbling to see the passion and national pride that our local workforce has brought to this project. Their dedication has helped us bring to a life a project which will showcase the best of PNG to the world’s leaders later this year,” he says Mr Mano made the comments during an onsite event with local press and stakeholders who also had the opportunity to tour the venue, hear about the next phase of construction and confirmation that the contract for the second stage of the resort development had been signed.

Stage two of Star Mountain Plaza will include the construction of 160 apartments, retail, hospitality and commercial space to future strengthen the Star Mountain plaza proposition.

Mr Mano says in addition to the conference venue the introduction of the Hilton Hotel brand to the PNG market marks a coming of age for the nation.

“The opening of the 212 room Hilton Port Moresby will have wide ranging and long term benefits for the country.

“The first guests will be welcomed at the hotel soon after the construction is completed,” he says.

Data from independent reports project the Star Mountain Plaza development to bring in more than $235million Kina in tourism revenue and other economic benefits.

“We are creating a legacy asset for future generations of Papua New Guineans. Along with the economic benefits of building the convention Centre itself, we have also had the chance to train the local workforce in a wide variety of trades – something that will benefit the community for years to come,” he says.

Mr Mano says the development has overcome a shortage of skilled local labour by introducing onsite training programmes for its workers and has set a new benchmark for workplace health and safety standards.

“This has been a model construction site guideline by international standards. We wanted to demonstrate how projects should be run and wanted to ensure that Star Mountain Plaza was