The June issue of the MRDC Tokaut highlighted progress on the Star Mountain Plaza (SMP) project after one year of official construction. Since then we have made further progress both on and off site. We have also achieved some important milestones. The completion of the car park structure five days ahead of schedule is one such important milestone.

The carpark has a capacity of 500 vehicles and is the largest single structure dedicated purely for parking. The structure also adopted “pre-cast technology”, a unique and high speed construction method which is fairly new in Papua New Guinea. We are proud to say that the SMP is the first project in PNG to adopt this construction technology on a large scale and popularise its efficiency and speed in construction. We also take this opportunity to thank all the people who have been involved in getting the car park structure completed on time.

Key highlights up to the 31st of August 2016 are as follows:

  1. 55 contract packages to the tune of K248, 330,404.00 have been let to various contractors and suppliers, both in PNG and offshore. Of the total contracts value, 56.35% are in PGK while the balance is in various other foreign currencies.
  2. Due to the completion of the carpark structure, there has been a reduction in site personnel. At the end of August 2016, there were 202 PNG nationals and 27 expat personnel engaged full time on site. We expect this number to increase as the hotel, convention centre and combined facility ramps up toward peak construction.
  3. Seven (8) contractors are actively present on site – Stratum Unlimited Limited, Fletcher Morobe, Smithbridge, Vuksich & Borich, Sun Engineering, Kemele Construction, PHP Plumbing, and PRA Electrical. More contractors and sub-contractors are expected as the project progresses towards peak construction.
  4. The carpark structure being completed five days ahead of schedule in July 2016.
  5. Hilton Hotel structure is progressing steadily. There have been some supplier issues but these have been managed and closely monitored through concerted effort between the supplier and our project team. The end of August 2016 witnessed the completion of level 9 of the central lift core and commencement of ground level floor frame.
  6. The Kutubu Convention Centre is progressing steadily. At the end of August majority of the ground floor concrete slab was completed. The construction of concrete columns which will support the special engineering timer roof portals has started.
  7. The combined facility is progressing steadily. All underground services are in place, majority of ground level concrete slabs are in place, and walls and columns have commenced for the next level.
  8. Health and safety performance on the project remains positive. No fatalities or major injuries have been recorded to date which underlines the extraordinary effort put in by everyone involved on the project to ensure that the site remains a safe and secure work environment.
  9. Overall, the project performed “satisfactorily” in terms of both schedule and cost. There were some delays and these were aggressively managed by the project team. More importantly, it is worth noting that delays are expected in any project, let alone a project of the size and scale of the SMP; what is important is the ability of the project team to effectively deal with those delays. So far, our project team has demonstrated the capability to address delays and make sure the project stays on schedule.

The SMP is the “People’s Project”, built and owned by Papua New Guinean citizens. It is the project that is expected to change perceptions of resource landowners from being rent collectors to being investors, creating sustainable income for the future generations. This is the core message driving the project team, and in turn the contractors, suppliers, sub-contractors, and everyone involved directly or indirectly on the SMP.

The project team is committed to delivering the SMP on time and on budget. Until then, stay tune and we will bring you another update in the next issue of the MRDC Tokaut.