Hornibrook NGI : Grabbing Construction by the Horns

Jordan LeveyEd Budds
Jordan Levey - Project Manager Ed Budds - Editor
  • Hornibrook NGI (Hornibrook) was established in 1990 and today provides turnkey building services for hospitals, aid posts, school classrooms, mining camps, and housing.
  • “We have a history of being an integral part of PNG’s industrial and resource development, and a future that is similarly mapped through capability and expertise,” says Matthew Lewis, Managing Director, Hornibrook NGI.
  • Drawing on a wealth of experience and with a varied and skilled workforce, the company also offers a multitude of services, from bridge building to housing.

With roots stemming from the 1940s, Hornibrook NGI has been a crucial player in Papua New Guinea’s industrial and resource development over the years. Now regarded as an industry-leading construction specialist, we hear the full story from Managing Director, Matthew Lewis.


The construction industry in Papua New Guinea (PNG) continues to have a significant impact on the country’s economy, as the array of projects within this expanding sector possess the unique potential to promote socioeconomic development, acting as drivers of both national and local growth. 

The nation’s construction landscape also exists as a key indicator of the growing level of development and efficiency of modernisation processes in the economy, and is creating investment opportunities across a plethora of sectors. 

Similarly, the success of any nation’s construction sector directly affects money circulation, and the lack of proper construction infrastructure can lead to an underdeveloped economy and lower living standards.   

Therefore, at present, the effective management of PNG’s construction sector continues to usher in an improved quality of life, including the promotion of tourism, a more sustainable environment, and greater job creation. 

As well as triggering economic growth and development, the nation’s construction industry also plays an essential role in improving material and spiritual life for people. 

Parallel to this, from the continuing catalysation of the private sector to enhanced investment in infrastructure and human capital, impressive steps are being taken by PNG, which is becoming recognised as a nation on the rise.

One such example of this national growth and prosperity is Hornibrook NGI (Hornibrook), who was established in 1990 to combine the steel fabrication interests of Hornibrook Constructions and NGI Steel Ltd.  

The successful merger retained the knowledge and experience that Hornibrook Constructions had built up since 1943, when it was first established in PNG. 

In mid-2004, the company was purchased by a private group headed by the current Chairman of Hornibrook, Malcolm Lewis, an exciting development strongly supported by the management, staff, and tradespeople of the company that ensured the capabilities, resources, and personnel remained unchanged. 

“We have a history of being an integral part of PNG’s industrial and resource development, and a future that is similarly mapped through capability and expertise,” opens Managing Director, Matthew Lewis

“Our success can be measured by customer satisfaction and the cost effectiveness of our products and services. We pride ourselves on delivering quality and excellence, no matter how big or small the job,” he adds.

“We have a history of being an integral part of PNG’s industrial and resource development, and a future that is similarly mapped through capability and expertise”

Matthew Lewis, Managing Director, Hornibrook NGI


Today, Hornibrook provides turnkey building services for hospitals, aid posts, school classrooms, mining camps, and housing. 

The business utilises a variety of building materials, from traditional concrete to cold-rolled and galvanised steel.  

“Roll-formed steel framed buildings are particularly well-suited to PNG for both the speed of manufacture and erection, the minimised on-site times and costs, the lack of material waste, and the high standard of finish,” states Lewis. 

Together with the other products used in the roofing, windows, doors, cladding, and stairs, the end product is one that requires minimal maintenance through its long life.  

“These structures are resistant to fire damage and don’t encounter the problems associated with shrinkage or white ant or insect infestation that tend to occur with the wooden framed buildings,” he affirms. 


With an organisation of project managers, architects, builders, carpenters, plumbers, concreters and more, Hornibrook offers complete building solutions, from the initial concept through to construction and certification. 

Hornibrook also undertakes a range of civil and road works projects across the entirety of PNG. 

“We have the expertise and capabilities to deliver both major and minor works for road construction, maintenance, and asphalt sealing.” 

Hornibrook also has expertise in the delivery of major civil projects, and the plant it has at its disposal, combined with the skills and experience of its personnel, allows the company to entirely self-deliver projects.


  • With a 6,400 square metre (sqm) workshop, Hornibrook’s steel fabrication facilities in Lae are the largest in PNG. Servicing all levels of the steel market, the company’s capabilities include: 
  • Turnkey projects using subcontracted mechanical and electrical services. 
  • The rolling of steel plates in the workshop up to 20 millimetres (mm) thick. 
  • Fabrication of a variety of steel alloys, steel grades, stainless steels, and aluminium to various international standards. 
  • Steel blasting in the workshop or on-site. 
  • Electronic transmission of AutoCAD workshop drawings to minimise delays. 
  • On-site erection using a fleet of cranes, scissor lifts, mobile welders, generators, and compressors. 
  • Project-specific quality assurance processes to ensure conformance. 
  • Master Reference Index (MRI) documentation. 
  • Sea container or tank container repair, servicing, and recertifications. 
  • Qualified tradespersons and supervisors for hire, where plant shutdowns or on-site modification and maintenance demands create a peak workload for skilled and speedy production. 


Drawing on a wealth of experience and with a varied and skilled workforce, the company offers a multitude of services, from bridge building to housing. 

In this way, Hornibrook has been fabricating and erecting certified truss bridges in PNG for decades.  

Examples of these impressive, sturdy structures can be found along the Ramu Highway between Lae and Madang.  

“With piled abutments and internal walkways, the bridges do not suffer the same wash-away or vehicular damage of temporary bailey bridging,” details Lewis. 

Elsewhere, the company is very fortunate to have acquired large tracts of land in 9 Mile, a large village in the Markham Valley of Morobe Province. With Hornibrook’s current and future proposed slate of developments, the area is witnessing the early formation of a satellite suburb to Lae, inspired by a new vision of innovative construction projects. 

“The Awilunga Estate, which is situated approximately 12 kilometres (km) from Lae, comprises over 30 houses, as well as a large office building which is currently fuelled by biomass,” he sets out. 

Spanning 62 acres, the Awilunga Estate comprises covenant housing set in beautiful, park-like surroundings. These houses are reserved for Hornibrook staff and their families, with some rented out externally. 

Hornibrook has further established and constructed a large residential estate in 9 Mile known as Valley View, which includes 134 individual four-bedroom fully furnished and serviced houses available for short-term and long-term leases. 

The estate is totally self-contained and is managed and serviced by Hornibrook personnel, who also reside on the estate ensuring a fully secure service focused environment. 


As a proud PNG company, Hornibrook cares about its surrounding community and maintains a strong desire to improve the living standards of its people. 

In this way, Hornibrook actively supports numerous local charities and the broader community in various ways. For example, it encourages the employment and support of disadvantaged people contending with disabilities or other challenges in their lives, who the company endeavours to benefit and aid in any way possible.  

Hornibrook is also a founding corporate member of the PNG Occupational Health and Safety Association, as well as being involved with numerous local community groups. 

In addition to being an equal opportunities employer, Hornibrook encourages women in the workforce and provides opportunities for female team members through apprenticeships and training in all divisions of the company. 

On top of this, the company proudly sponsors the Lae Hornibrook Harlequins rugby union club, with the additional goal of giving unemployed youths enhanced self-esteem and a greater opportunity to succeed.  

Hornibrook also provides daily meals for its people, free on-site medical services to maintain health and well-being, and a company-wide culture of continuous improvement and development, all of which differentiate it from the competition. 

“Across the nation, we’re now starting to see the growth of fresh new shoots after the bush fire that was the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an exciting time in PNG, and I dare say for us and the rest of the construction industry too,” Lewis concludes optimistically.


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By Jordan Levey Project Manager
Jordan Levey is a Project Manager for Outlook Publishing. Jordan is responsible for showcasing corporate stories in our digital B2B magazines and Digital Platforms, and sourcing collaborations with Business Leaders, Brands, and C-suite Executives to feature in future editions. Jordan is actively seeking opportunities to collaborate. Reach out to Jordan to discover how you and your business could be our next cover story.