Clans told to pay up

National

By SHIRLEY MAULUDU
KUMUL Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) has withdrawn its vendor financing to beneficiary groups to own shares in the Kroton equity, and benefit more from the PNG LNG project.
KPHL managing director Wapu Sonk said the groups would now have until the end of this month to find their own financing.
Sonk told The National that KPHL had offered the vendor financing option to the groups because “time was running out as the due date for the exercise of the option” was December 31.
“Due to the consultation we have had in past weeks, a few groups have emerged claiming to be representing the landowners and the provincial governments and they have expressed strong desire to do the financing themselves,” Sonk said.
“KPHL respects that and we are giving time for them to find the money and purchase the Kroton shares as agreed to in the Kokopo UBSA (Umbrella Benefit Sharing Agreement) in 2009.”
The UBSA provides that beneficiary groups are to be given a commercial option for 25.75 per cent shareholding in Kroton (Kroton No 2 Limited, now known as Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited).
KPHL holds the State’s 16.57 per cent in the PNG LNG project.
The option in the UBSA is for an undivided and fixed 25.75 per cent shareholding.
This will mean that the beneficiary groups will have an indirect interest in the PNG LNG project at 4.27 per cent.
This is additional to what the State had already offered – a free 2 per cent (under the Oil and Gas Act) in the PNG LNG project held by the Mineral Resources Development Company.
Sonk said on the 4.27 per cent shareholding, they offered the vendor financing to the beneficiary groups to make it easy for them to buy the option.
“But we got pushed back by different groups. So we are now allowing them to finance the option themselves,” he said.
“At the moment, we want to step aside and allow the beneficiaries to go and find the finance and pass it onto Government in exchange for the shares which will be given to the beneficiaries.”

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