“Mobil began operations here in 1922, long before I was born!” says Corporate Affairs Manager Namon Mawason. “Twenty six years ago they provided the scholarship money to send me to Australia to school and, when I came back, they found some more to give me three years study at PNG University of Technology at Lae. I studied Business Administration and majored in Marketing and that fits in very well with the job I have now.”
Mobil’s ocean terminals were opened after the Second World War in Lae in 1950, in Port Moresby in 1951 and in Madang, Wewak and Kavieng before 1960. Further investment followed at Alotau, Rabaul, Vanimo, Kimbe and Kieta, completing the chain of coastal facilities.
Refined products are imported from Singapore and Australia and then redistributed by smaller tankers around the coast and by truck into the Highlands region. Lubricants are shipped directly from Australia into the various centres where they’re needed.
In recent years Mobil has invested in new inland depots, service stations and bulk aviation refuelling facilities. This distribution network is supported by the Port Moresby headquarters where the bulk of the employees work. The staff is smaller now than it was at Independence, 90 compared with 130, and expatriate numbers have gone down from 35 to 10. Distribution and retail sales however are handled by local distributors and dealers, who themselves account for another thousand jobs.
“Mobil dedicates a large amount of time and resources to the development and sales of lubricants and in PNG this tradition continues”, says Namon Mawason. “We employ three lubrication engineers to provide technical support to the customers. They’re backed by Mobil’s technical group world-wide and can therefore provide the most up to date lubricants, including the most modern synthetic ones, and lubrication advice to match.”
Mobil plans to continue expanding their facilities and services to meet the growing needs of PNG. Significant effort is devoted to increasing the expertise of local staff and this will continue to ensure that Mobil can deliver what their customers want, maintaining the reputation of Mobil as the No. 1 Team.