Safety a priority, says firm


EXXONMOBIL PNG Limited says the safety of its staff and community is the company’s priority.
In response to the effect of the Government-sponsored call-out in Hela which starts this week, a company spokesperson told The National that the PNG LNG project’s operation was not related to tribal fights in the area.
“The tribal fighting in Hela is unrelated to the PNG LNG project,” the spokesperson said.
“(But) the safety of our staff and the community is our first priority and we are continuing to monitor the situation.
“There has been no material impact on PNG LNG operations.
“ExxonMobil PNG is committed to maintaining a positive relationship with landowners, the government and the wider community.”
Three chartered flights carrying 120 police officers and soldiers arrived in Mt. Hagen, Western Highlands, on Monday on their way to Tari in Hela.
They are part of the 300-strong contingent based there to stop the ongoing tribal fight in the province.
Hela hosts the country’s US$19 billion (about K60bn) PNG LNG project.
The Government has set aside K11 million for the call-out operation in Hela.
Chief Secretary Issacc Lupari said the call-out was based on an assessment by the police commissioner which identified Hela as “high-risk’ because of the presence of unlicensed guns.
Lupari on Sunday said: “The PNG LNG project is a major contributor to our economy.
“If the project is affected, say if disgruntled landowners with high-powered firearms shut it down, it will seriously damage the country in terms of employment, revenue and our reputation internationally.
“We should know that the costs of any shut down and the damage to the PNG LNG facilities is born directly by the country.”

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