THE Papua New Guinea Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project will transform the country’s economy and the National Alliance party should remain in Government to protect this massive project.
State Enterprises Minister Arthur Somare (pictured right) delivered this message to party faithful from the New Guinea Islands region in Warangoi last week.
Mr Somare is at the forefront of the Government’s push for this project, and is often referred to as the LNG Minister because of his extensive involvement in it.
He told party members that an NA-led government would protect the potential of the LNG project as it would ensure that electorates continue to receive District Services Improvement Programme (DSIP) funding not only for a year but for every consecutive year for the next 20 years.And that was the potential that the NA-led Government had to protect, he said.
He said the NA party was sick of the “bottlenecks” at Waigani and took a deliberate decision to give funds directly to the districts to have an opportunity to finance infrastructure development at the district level.
Mr Somare said the LNG project was the single biggest project the National Government had undertaken since Independence.
The capital cost required for the project was US$16.441 billion (K45 billion) and this would be spent over a five-year period.
Mr Somare said the project would transform the PNG economy forever and the revenue flows from it were calculated to be US$156 billion (K450 billion) at current pricing.
He said the total State take or money that would come back to the National Government would be US$51 billion (K148 billion) over the life of the project.
He said this was one of the main reasons why NA was mobilising and lobbying supporters to keep the party in government.
Mr Somare said he was confident that come Dec 8, the final investment decision would be reached for the project to go ahead, and the construction phase of the project would then begin.
He said work on two trains had begun, while the third and fourth trains would follow later.
The trains were like a huge refrigerator that cools down the gas that would be shipped to China, Japan and Taiwan, he said.