‘State, landowner equities safe’

Main Stories, National

The National, Friday 25th November 2011

THE state and landowner shareholding in the PNG LNG project managed by the National Petroleum Company (formerly Kroton 2) will not be affected by the company’s restructure.
State Enterprises Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said this during question time in parliament when responding to questions by Tari-Pori MP James Marape.
Marape had asked what would happen to the state’s and landowners’ shares of 4.22% and 7% in the LNG with the restructure.
The National Executives Council had quashed earlier decisions by the previous government to extend its roles and powers by restructuring the NPC.
Sir Mekere said the NPC was another Petromin company and the restructure was nothing to do with the company. He said no one would play around with the money.
He said it was a shell company to hold and protect the state and landowner equity in the LNG. It, therefore, should not be part of the Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) because the IPBC was not set up to run a petroleum company but to rehabilitate public enterprises and hold state assets in trust.
He said the NPC had cost more than K60 million to set up 12 months ago but this government decided to make the company a more effective organisation  run by four qualified people.
Sir Mekere said some workers would be transferred to the Department of Petroleum and Energy while others would be paid their benefits.
He said the restructure was to stop the huge cost of operation and duplication of roles and responsibilities.
“It is not abandoned as some
people many think,” he added.