Cabinet plans to sell 4.27pc equity

The National,Tuesday June 28th, 2016

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill and Cabinet  have approved plans to sell down 4.27 per cent of the Government equity in the PNG LNG project to a group which includes landowners.
Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch said the decision by the national executive council on June 6 would enable representatives appointed by the beneficiary group to start due diligence assessments on the purchase proposal.
Pruaitch said he and O’Neill had been part of a team involved in negotiations in 2009 with the beneficiary group. “We are pleased that Cabinet has unanimously endorsed plans that are fully in accord with the 2009 Kokopo Umbrella Benefit Sharing Agreement,” Pruaitch said.
The beneficiary group involves five provincial governments – Hela, Southern Highlands, Central, Western and Gulf – and landowners in the LNG project areas.
He said the beneficiary group had to raise their own funds for the LNG equity purchase.
He said the late Hela Governor Anderson Agiru was involved in talks on the LNG equity sell down. Agiru later talked to the governors from Southern Highlands, Western, Gulf and Central on the deal.
“This led to an agreement among the five governors on February 19 when they signed a joint communique undertaking to work together to pursue benefits owing to their people under the UBSA, including the acquisition of the 4.27 per cent LNG equity option,” Pruaitch said
“This is in addition to the 2 per cent equity provided for under the Oil and Gas Act.”