The Lae port serves as the gate way to the much publicized $US19 billion (K52 billion) ExxonMobil led PNG LNG project.

However, the port is struggling to keep phase with the enormous demand from the LNG project according Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry website.

The struggle has been attributed to increase volume on normal cargo levels delivered to and from the LNG site.

The Lae Port has become the most important Port in the Pacific and has struggled to keep pace with the LNG cargo as well as the increase in volume in normal cargo levels.

Each day reveals 5 or 6 overseas ships anchored offshore waiting for a berth at the Port” the site says.

The struggle is evident, prompting PNG Ports Corporation to extend the wharf a further 150 meters to add to the existing 470 meter with funding assistance from Asian Development bank.

Lae Tidal Basin project is underway, dredging out a swampy tidal basin area to the West of the existing wharf by the China Harbour Engineering Company.

The completion of this project will see a further 250 meters of wharf area, by 2015 as well as land for Port related businesses.