THE PNG LNG project’s front end engineering and design (FEED) has been completed, and the nation now awaits a final decision by the developers of the project.
State Enterprises Minister Arthur Somare said yesterday that the period leading up to the final investment decision (FID) by ExxonMobil on the project was very critical.
“The Government recognises the next five weeks will be critical to ensuring the PNG LNG project makes a final investment decision (FID) in December,” Mr Somare said.
He said the onus was now on the Government to conclude the licence-based benefits sharing agreements, the first of which was signed in Port Moresby last month.
The remaining agreements are expected to be signed in the next few weeks.
Mr Somare in a statement yesterday said the project had continued to achieve important milestones in recent months.
“I would like to congratulate the PNG LNG project consortium for successfully concluding the FEED stage and for being granted its environment permit by the PNG Government recently,” he said.
It is understood that ExxonMobil will need to finalise loan financing for the venture as well as conclude sales and purchase agreements with our four customers in Japan, China and Taiwan prior to the FID.
Mr Somare said recent media reports had cast doubts on whether the PNG LNG project would help to alleviate poverty in this country and generally improve living standards.
“I wish to reiterate that I have no doubt about the transformational impacts of this project,” he said.
He stressed that detailed studies had shown that the project was economically robust and would “live up to its promise of helping to transform the PNG economy and helping to raise living standards generally”.
Mr Somare said the Government also recognises that the project would benefit the whole nation and not just selected areas.
“State revenues will be used to deliver improved education, health and other State services throughout Papua New Guinea,” he stressed.
He urged all stakeholders, including landowners and the media to work together to support the project to “secure our nation’s future prosperity”.