KBR to support PNG government on resources and energy development

29 November 2018 Consultancy.asia

The government of Papua New Guinea has tapped US engineering consultancy KBR for support in its energy and resource sector.

With Asian offices in Singapore, China, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia among its international operations, and a staff of 35,000 worldwide, the US-based global professional services specialist for the hydrocarbon and government sectors KBR has been tapped by the Papua New Guinean Department of Petroleum to help develop its local energy and resource sectors.

According to the firm, the new contract will see KBR provide ongoing consulting, advisory and engineering services on multiple existing and future energy and resource developments across the country, including with respect to the upstream, downstream and LNG segments – the latter, liquefied natural gas, being one of the key pillars of the country’s developing economy, despite recent set-backs.KBR to support PNG government on energy and resources development

The latest contract follows a conceptual development and feasibility study awarded to the firm by Kumul Petroleum last year for a Kikori Energy Hub at the head of the Gulf of Papua, and for its new consulting assignment, KBR states that it will deploy strategy and technical specialists from a number of offices worldwide, including those in Singapore, Australia, London and Houston.

“KBR is proud to help the Government of Papua New Guinea harness the full potential of their future energy developments,” said KBR President for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific Jay Ibrahim, who is based in the Middle East and crossed from Australian rival Worley Parsons in 2015. “We are excited to showcase our extensive expertise to help grow this key market.”

LNG market

The highly touted LNG sector of Papua New Guinea has suffered a number of set-backs this year, with questions raised over actual the benefits for the local economy. Operational since 2014, the massive $19 billion PNG LNG project operated by Exxon-Mobile has been hit by a series of hurdles, including a fatal 7.5 magnitude earthquake, an unstable gas market, and ongoing feuds between partners and the local population among other issues.

Still, new gas finds and a significant deal with China have emerged in just the past couple of months, and KBR – which has raised its revenues by double-digit figures so far this year, in part on the back of a growing consulting line and with a backlog level of $13.5 billion – will be banking on its hydrocarbon and government industry expertise to capitalise over the long-term in the still underdeveloped PNG market.

The Papua New Guinean capital Port Moresby recently played host to the Apec CEO summit, with Big Four profession services firm PwC acting as the event's official knowledge partner.

Surbana Jurong strikes deal to develop shipping corridor across Mexico

19 April 2019 Consultancy.asia

Singapore-headquartered urban and infrastructure consultancy Surbana Jurong has been appointed as a master-planner for the Interoceanic Corridor project in Mexico.

At 40 kilometers wide and 300 long, Mexico’s slated $150 million Interoceanic Corridor will dissect the country’s Tehuantepec isthmus to connect its Atlantic and Pacific coasts – with the aim of facilitating trade and fast-tracking local economic growth. Now, the project has a new and far more distant connection, with the involvement of Singaporean-headquartered infrastructure consultancy Surbana Jurong.

Striking a deal with the Mexican state governments of Veracruz and Oaxaca, Surbana Jurong will develop a strategic plan for the Interoceanic Corridor as well as provide master planning on two associated special economic zones, in what the rapidly growing firm states is a significant milestone in its international aspirations – which over the past few years have already seen its presence grow to 130-plus offices in more than 40 countries.

“We are privileged to be appointed as master planners for the Interoceanic Corridor project. Surbana Jurong has a strong track record, having delivered master plans for projects in over 30 countries and are pleased to contribute our expertise towards Mexico’s development success,” said Surbana Jurong Group CEO Wong Heang Fine on helping to unlock the region’s economic potential.Surbana Jurong strikes deal to develop interoceanic corridor across MexicoAccording to the firm, the agreement will see Surbana Jurong perform a detailed review of the Interoceanic Corridor including its broad socio-economic benefits to the region and potential growth industrial clusters, with the strategic plan comprising of recommendations on market positioning and development directions, proposals for utilities and services infrastructure, and zoning plans to identify land use distribution along the corridor.

In addition, the firm will devise the master plan for two economic development areas along the Interoceanic Corridor in the states of Veracruz and Oaxaca, guiding the physical development of the two industrial sites through planning of land use, infrastructure, utilities and transportation – with the aim of “creating a conducive environment for investment and providing a quality living environment for the people that live and work there.”

“We are pleased to see the partnership continue to make progress since we started this conversation a few years ago,” said Khor Aik Lam, Latin America Regional Group Director of Enterprise Singapore, which helped facilitate the deal. “The strong commitment and joint efforts from all parties have culminated in this milestone venture to bring Singapore’s economic development capabilities to Mexico.”

Connecting the ports of Salinas Cruz on the Pacific coast and Coatzacoalcos on the Atlantic, the local Interoceanic Corridor is one of a number of proposed or under development cross-continental shipping routes to rival the Panama Canal, including routes across Guatemala and Nicaragua – with the contemporary race harking back to the 19th Century when a number of American industry and shipping titans fought to be the first.