Construction has begun on PNG Customs' Container Examination Facility (CEF) project with the first concrete laid recently.
The first of two facilities, to be constructed at Motukea, Port Moresby by Curtain Brothers is expected to be completed and fully operational by September 2015.
Customs Commissioner Ray Paul said he was pleased to see the construction phase of the project finally get off the ground following a lengthy delay caused by bureaucratic processes.
Curtain Brothers will build the facility at a cost of K30 million and lease it to PNG Customs.
Commissioner Ray Paul said the facility, which will include x-ray facilities, examination hall and a depot, will greatly enhance the work of Customs in that, containers identified to be checked will be checked in a matter of minutes, and not take hours as has been the case. Customs has already purchased two x-ray machines from China at a cost of K9 million. One is for the Motukea CEF while the other is for a similar facility to be constructed in Lae, Morobe Province.
"PNG Customs is a member of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and this project will ensure we keep in line with WCO's SAFE Framework of Standards," the Commissioner stated. "These standards include introducing new approaches to working methods to secure the international supply chain from potential terrorist threats, transnational organized crime, and all related offences."
Curtain Brothers General Manager Justin McGann commended PNG Customs for having the foresight in 2011 to have the facility located at Motukea at a time when there was still a conjecture as to where the future port of Port Moresby would be located.
He said with recent developments confirming Motukea as the future port of Port Moresby and Customs having their facility there, he anticipated more development and commercial activities to take place there.
He added that Curtain Brothers will pay all the construction costs and lease the facilities to Customs. He said it was a big investment but Curtain Brothers was more than confident of recouping its investment.