Fletcher Morobe

Infrastructure for the Islands 

Playing a key role in Papua New Guinea’s development for more than 40 years, Fletcher Morobe continues to deliver significant building and infrastructure projects for the nation 

Writer: Jack Salter  |  Project Manager: Josh Mann
 
 
Fletcher Construction (Fletcher) has been an integral part of the development and modernisation of the South Pacific for more than 75 years.
 
A leading contractor in New Zealand (NZ) and the South Pacific with head offices in Auckland, Fletcher offers international capabilities and support matched with a deep local understanding and broad connections.
 
Significant national infrastructure has been planned, built, maintained and managed by Fletcher for the benefit of communities in NZ and the South Pacific.
 
Having undertaken its first overseas contract for Morris Hedstrom in the Samoan capital of Apia in 1946, Fletcher is now also permanently based in Papua New Guinea (PNG) as well as Fiji, Samoa and American Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands.
 
A contract to supply and erect 342 houses in Panguana and Arawan kicked off operations in PNG for Fletcher Morobe, a wholly owned subsidiary and one of five connected businesses comprising the Fletcher family.
 
Fletcher Morobe established a permanent PNG office in 1984 and has since delivered a range of significant building and infrastructure projects in the country, including the Sir John Guise Stadium, Taurama Aquatic Centre, Grand Papua Hotel, National Parliament House, and Port Moresby International Airport.
 
MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT
Construction of TISA Rua, a new mixed use multistorey property in the capital of PNG, Port Moresby, commenced in 2020.
 
The Teachers Savings and Loans Society (TISA), the largest credit union in PNG, invested K82 million in the property, which can be used for commercial and residential purposes such as office spaces and top-floor penthouses.
 
TISA Rua is defined by its glistening vertical fins that begin at the base of the tower and come together to form a crown at the top, a striking feature that also helps to distinguish the penthouse residential apartments from the commercial floors on lower levels.
 
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, construction of the 10-storey development remains on budget and is due for practical completion in Q4 2022, generating much-welcome income for TISA.
 
From the get-go, TISA had possible tenants in mind for this new investment, constructed by Fletcher Morobe, most of which are financial institutions, law firms and large international corporations. 
 
Expected to be operational in February 2023, TISA believes that the full value of the building will be K151 million if and when it is fully occupied by tenants, an attractive return on this commercial property investment.
 
This valuation is consistent with the building life cycle of 20 years and reflects the fact that the real estate segment of the PNG economy remains attractive to long-term investors. 
 
TISA Rua brings a new dimension to the depth of development and design of commercial complexes in the Port Moresby real estate market, providing more than 4,000 square feet of office space.
 
As the project contractor, Fletcher Morobe has a reputation of training and developing highly skilled Papua New Guineans, and TISA Rua has provided employment for more than 100 people, mostly from PNG.
 
Local job creation is key to Fletcher Morobe, whose apprentices are also locally trained and supply chain is kept as local as possible.
 
AIRPORT IMPROVEMENTS
The Nadzab Airport Redevelopment Project (NARP) is a major multidisciplinary engineering project comprising earthworks, drainage, water supply, sewerage, pavement, structural, electrical, mechanical and architectural works.
 
Located in the suburban area of Lae, the capital of Morobe Province and the second-largest city in PNG, Nadzab Airport handles the second largest amount of air passenger traffic and cargo in the country after Port Moresby International Airport.
 
As Nadzab Airport required large-scale improvements from both a capacity and safety perspective, the purpose of NARP is to meet the future demands of air transportation, establish it as an alternate international airport, and contribute to the gradual economic growth of PNG.
 
To achieve this, redevelopments at Nadzab Airport include improving air-side facilities for the safe and efficient operation of larger aircraft and expanding the airport’s passenger handling capacity.
 
Fletcher Morobe, along with fellow contractors, have made excellent progress on the passenger terminal. It resembles the shape of a kundu drum, an emblematic symbol of PNG that appears on the country’s coat of arms.
 
NARP practices the highest safety and environmental standards across the entire site; this was evidenced in March 2022 when Fletcher Morobe celebrated a fantastic safety milestone, achieving 500,000 hours of work with no lost time injuries (LTIs).
 
In July, Fletcher Morobe’s NARP team went on to accomplish one million hours of LTI-free work on the project, an impressive feat recognised by PNG’s National Airports Corporation (NAC).
 
The high safety standards that Fletcher sets out to achieve is an immense source of pride for the company, whose health and safety policy reflects its approach to ensuring a zero-harm working environment, and the fundamental belief that all work-related injuries and illnesses are preventable.
 
This strong focus on managing health and safety risks has earned Fletcher recognition as a leader in the field.
 
BUILDING THE FUTURE
Caring for the places in which it operates, Fletcher has committed to reducing the impact it makes on climate change, both in New Zealand and South Pacific islands such as PNG, by achieving a 30 percent reduction in its carbon emissions by 2030.
 
Fletcher also looks to reduce its environmental impact by managing its impact on natural resources, local habitats and biodiversity, reducing waste, removing any hazardous materials, and managing water use and energy consumption.
 
NARP ensures that there is no air pollution, water pollution, waste or soil contamination during the construction phase, and monitoring such environmental impacts remains one of the project’s top priorities.
 
NARP reflects Fletcher’s commitment to building a sustainable future for generations to come, focusing on the areas that are most important to its people, customers and business, and where its actions will lead to meaningful change.
 
In cooperation with Fletcher Morobe and other NARP contractors, engineers of the future from the PNG University of Technology (PNGUOT) were also given a tour of the project by the NAC Project Management Unit.
 
Students visited Nadzab Airport on a field trip in March 2022, allowing various aspects of their broad civil engineering study programme to be experienced.
 
These students will contribute to a vibrant future for PNG, together with Fletcher Morobe’s nation-building infrastructure projects.