PACIFIC Towing Marine Services has officially appointed Papua New Guinean local and maritime veteran Gerard Kasnari to the role of manager.

Previously PacTow’s marine operations manager and ‘2IC’ for nearly a decade, Mr Kasnari’s new role of manager Pacific Towing will have him oversee the day-to-day operations of the company.

The appointment comes after the departure of PacTow’s former GM Neil Papenfus, who departed the company in May this year to take up the position of chief executive officer of PNG Ports.

Mr Kasnari has almost 40 years experience in maritime, having commenced his seafaring career in 1985 and becoming one of PNG’s youngest ships masters at age 24.

He also has considerable experience in the mining industry, having held supervisor and managerial roles with Ok Tedi for nearly 14 years, as well as a management position on the Frieda River Project. 

Mr Kasnari’s first role with PacTow was as its HSSEQ manager and designated person ashore, before being promoted to marine operations manager in 2019.

PacTow is part of the logistics division of Steamships Group, a shipping and transport conglomerate with an expansive presence in PNG’s maritime, transport and property industries, who itself is owned by Swire group.

Steamships MD, Rupert Bray, emphasised that Mr Kasnari’s “considerable experience in combination with his dedication, commitment, and proven leadership skills make him the ideal candidate to take Pacific Towing forward and to continue to deliver exceptional service to its customers.”

Founded in 1977, PacTow commands a fleet of 21 vessels and employs 200+ staff, operating out of multiple ports across PNG, the Solomon Islands, and Fiji, and headquartered in Port Moresby.