November 24 - German materials handling equipment manufacturer Demag Cranes has supplied its first Mobile Harbour Cranes (MHC) to Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Two Gottwald Model 6 (pictured below) cranes were commissioned on behalf of PNG Ports Corporation, where they are in operation unloading imported grain and containers. Two more cranes are due to be delivered in early 2012. The cranes will be deployed in the country's most important port, Lae, and in the capital city of Port Moresby, which is also the second-largest port.

Brian Riches, CEO of PNG Ports Corporation, said: "This high-performance, reliable technology will assist us to fulfil and expand our role as the main regional hub for maritime cargo handling and raw materials export. The cranes will enable the efficient handling of bulk materials, containers and general cargo to supply our inhabitants and the island's industry."

Papua New Guinea is a new market for heavy lift and project cargo forwarders. Its main infrastructure developments are being driven by the multi-billion dollar PNG LNG Project. Commenced in 2008 with the signing of the PNG Gas Agreement, this was a landmark that enabled ExxonMobil to commence Front End Engineering and Design (FEED).

As Papua New Guinea begins to prepare for the escalating construction works taking place on the LNG project, it is not just shipping that is bringing material to the island, the third largest island state in the world. A Hercules aircraft has been chartered recently to bring material to the island for a US forwarder.

Project cargo is containerised and breakbulk cargo going towards a single project such as the construction of a hospital or mine project is growing. One project that has been supported is the Simberi Island gold mine project.

PNG Ports Corporation is responsible for managing and monitoring all 16 of the State-owned ports in Papua New Guinea. This makes the company the largest participant in the trade infrastructure of this country, which is geographically close to the Australian continent.