Steamships Addresses the Devastating loss of Stop and Shop Buildings in Recent Fire
23 January 2024
Destruction in North Waigani - Steamships Property houseing Stop n Shop
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea – Steamships Trading Company Limited, through its property division, Pacific Palms Property (PPP), confirms that three of its properties were tragically set on fire last Wednesday.
The buildings that house the Stop & Shop North Waigani store and Stop & Shop Rainbow Gerehu have been completely lost in the fires, while the Badili site sustained severe damage to its western end which housed 2FastMotors and M&H Bookmakers. These tenants have lost everything, and we extend our deepest sympathy to them. The eastern end, housing Badili Stop & Shop, remains intact, and our PPP team is working tirelessly to secure the sites and expedite the reopening of the Stop & Shop store. The Company’s primary concern is for the safety and continuity of operations.
The immediate losses to Steamships are currently estimated at PGK86 million, with consequential losses expected to bring the total to just under PGK100 million.
“As we navigate the complexities of the insurance process, our commitment is to commence rebuilding efforts as swiftly as possible. We stand in solidarity with those affected and advocate for the expedited prosecution of those responsible for these criminal acts. Steamships categorically condemns any form of property destruction.” Said Steamships Managing Director, Rupert Bray.
“In our role as a property and logistics operator, Steamships has extended its support to those impacted. The Company have proactively offered free laydown area at our new Portside Business Park to major stores affected by this incident.”
The PNG Business Council and the peak bodies have estimated that the cost for restocking and rebuilding is approximately PGK1bn. This unfortunate event diverts resources from new projects that could have significantly contributed to economic growth and employment opportunities.
Steamships acknowledges the recent meetings between the business councils, the peak bodies, and government officials. In light of these discussions, we urge the government to consider:
- Immediate capital support for the affected businesses to facilitate rebuilding and safeguard employment. In particular, we recommend immediate wage support for the staff of those whose businesses have been so badly affected. Having failed to prevent last Wednesday’s unrest, the government now has a duty to protect employment during these tough economic times.
- Prompt availability of foreign exchange for affected businesses to enable restocking and rebuilding.
- Expedited building approval processes to allow for swift reconstruction of our capital city.
It is disheartening to witness how the actions of a few individuals can negatively escalate to create disorder and impact the livelihoods of many hardworking Papua New Guineans in Port Moresby and other centres who experienced similar fate.
This is not who we are as Papua New Guineans.
Restoring investor confidence is imperative. We must ensure such incidents do not recur, as they undermine stability and progress. Steamships, with over a century of investment in PNG, is committed to rebuilding and leading recovery efforts. However, this requires collaborative support from the government and the citizens of Port Moresby.
Corporate Affairs Manager
Level 2, @345 Building, Stanley Esplanade, Port Moresby
+675 313 7400