Prime Minister addresses national fuel security with Bank South Pacific

Thursday 25  January 2024

Prime Minister and Treasurer Hon. James Marape emphasised the importance of preventing the national fuel security issue involving Puma Energy from escalating into a national security concern.

The Prime Minister expressed these sentiments in  a meeting held on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, with Bank South Pacific (BSP) Chief Executive Officer, Mr  Mark Robinson.

 “BSP has issued a notice to Puma Energy, directing the closure of its accounts by March 8, 2024. “The Puma Energy issue should not be allowed to become a national security issue,” stated Prime Minister Marape

 “We have seen what happened on Wednesday, January 10, 2024, and we do not want a repetition.”

Prime Minister Marape disclosed that the Bank of Papua New Guinea is actively investigating the Puma Energy issue and collaborating with all relevant stakeholders to ensure the most favourable resolution.

 In his  meeting with Mr. Robinson, the Prime Minister underscored his primary concern for the country’s economy.

 He conveyed  government’s intention in  exploring alternative fuel suppliers and implementing strategies to strengthen foreign exchange reserves in light of the challenges posed by the Puma Energy issue.

“Last year, we produced over K60 billion worth of exports, but we were only able to bring back K18 billion into the country,” Prime Minister Marape said.

 “If I can bring back at least half of export revenue into the country – and keep it at the Central Bank, BSP, or Kina Bank – that will help to beef up our foreign exchange.”

 The Government remains committed to addressing the national fuel security issue promptly and ensuring the stability of the country’s economic landscape.