Petroleum Resources Kutubu is the major shareholder in the Star Mountain Plaza Project. The State and landowners also own shares in the project.

MRDC Managing Director Augustine Mano told media friends and trustees during a tour to witness progress made in the project. With an asset of K1.8 billion, PRK has 45 per cent interest in the K1.2 billion project, government has 20 per cent and the rest are owned by landowners including Mineral Resources Star Mountains and Mineral Resources Ok Tedi who had paid money upfront to make the project happen. In terms of financing, Bank South Pacific will contribute K200 million, government has provided K316 million and landowners will cover the balance.

Show of Unity. L-R MRDC’s Augustine Mano, PRK Director Johnny Yawari, PRK Chairman Abraham Murepe, PRK Directors Mark Sakai and John Kapi-Natto on the top floor of the SMP car park

“I thank the government for having faith in us. You rarely see government have faith in landowners and putting the money in a true partnership that will revolutionise the way we define entrepreneurship, the way we define partnership in this country and I want to thank all the landowners for making this happen,” Mano said.

PRK directors Mark Sakai and John Kapi Natto said the partnership they have established with the government has significant economic benefits for the people of PNG.

“For the last 20 years we’ve been like that. Since the new management has come in under the leadership of Augustine Mano, we’ve seen changes through investments. This is one of them,” Kapi Natto said.

“The Hilton brand and the convention center here is of a higher magnitude and for me as a landowner and as a trustee, I am very excited. For us, we just want to say thank you to the State for coming and supporting us in building this investment together.

“We see the state coming in believing in us that as landowners we are not only looking at our own people but as a nation that we want to work together and to build something like this iconic building is an investment for the country and good for the wellbeing of our people. For me, I am very excited,” Kapi Natto said.

Sakai shared similar sentiments, thanking the government for having confidence in the landowners.

“This project is a Government and private business partnership as you can see. On behalf of the shareholders of PRK and Kutubu landowners we thank the government for the commitment it shows now as we have already committed ourselves where you can see the work so far here. We made our commitment and we are very pleased that the government has come on board now,” Sakai said.

He also hit back at critics saying that the government’s contribution is not a free gift but an investment as a partner.

“They will be shareholders of this development and for the benefit of the development of the people of this country. It’s not free money to us. It’s government’s commitment as an investment for the people of this country. We thank the government for honouring its commitment and also believing in us,” Sakai said.

Star Mountain Plaza