Papua New Guinea's forests minister calls for increase in processing of logs from plantation forests, end to log exports, after Saban Enterprise of Milne Bay is issued permit to operate sawmill in Ulabo

SYDNEY, Australia , April 23, 2014 () – MINISTER for Forests and Kiriwina/Goodenough MP Douglas Tomuriesa would like to see more downstream processing of logs in Papua New Guinea.

In his drive to push the Government's efforts to promote more downstream processing as opposed to round log export, Mr Tomuriesa said he was looking forward to working with Saban Enterprise.

"I want to develop more (forestry) plantations. Now is the time for the Government to work in partnership with the industry to develop forestry plantations, which is the way forward for the sector.

"I want downstream processing based on plantation forests to become a thing of the future and round logs from natural forests a thing of the past.

"The Government wants us to make the first 3-4 policies into reality.

"In the past, maybe due to political interference, the industry moved at a slow pace. Since my appointment, I have told Kanawi Pouru, managing director of the National Forest Service that he now has a free hand to move the industry and he has to move it," Minister Tomuriesa said.

He made these comments when he visited Saban Enterprise Ltd in Milne Bay earlier this month.

Saban Enterprise Ltd, a subsidiary of Rimbunan Hijau Group of Companies, which previously were a sub contractor to the Sagarai/Gadaisu project, also in Milne Bay, before applying for and being allocated the necessary permit to operate the sawmill at Ulabo, has been in Milne Bay for over 20 years.

The visit was organized by Mr Pouru to familiaries the minister with the forest industry before the next sitting of parliament.

Downstream processing refers to the recovery and purification of biosynthetic products, particularly pharmaceuticals from natural sources such as animal or plant tissue or fermentation broth, including the recycling of salvageable components and the proper treatment and disposal of waste.

Downstream processing is usually considered a specialized field in biochemical engineering, itself a specialization within chemical engineering,

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