Group opts to back LNG

National, Normal

The National – Tuesday, December 28, 2010

THE executives of Wahene Investment Ltd, a gas pipeline landowner umbrella company from Beneria in Southern Highlands, have vowed to support ExxonMobil and the government get the PNG LNG project underway.
Led by chairman Daniel Halimbu, his deputy Muli Tero, secretary Mangope Hongoli, treasurer Tipaja Pipe and director Teke Talipe, the group commended the government’s response in paying the business development grants and would provide undivided support to get the multi-billion kina project going unhindered for the benefit of disadvantaged communities.
They said their company represented more than 6,000 people from the of Timu, Lahu, Pero and Hoya council wards in Beneria in the Hulia LLG.
The company represents 34 major clans and 79 sub-clans that own over 39km2 of land from Harali to Marupa along which a portion of the PNG LNG gas pipeline would run.
 “We are very happy but the social mapping and the land demarcation is not yet done to actually know how many kilometers of land from Harali to Marupa are owned by our people,” Halimbu said.
He said that the government had also recognised three other landowner companies all within the pipeline route from Angore to Harali but the group that owned the biggest was Wahene Investment.
However, he said since the social mapping and land demarcation had not been carried out and his company would remain the only umbrella company within Harali to Marupa.
“Wahene cannot join with other landowners companies to from an umbrella company because of the location, the land mass, tribal fighting and continuous political rivalries with the other groups and therefore their company will remain as their umbrella company,” he said.
He said any contract or business spin offs within their land would only be done by Wahene Investment.
“Directors from the three wards are appreciative and applaud the government and ExxonMobil for recognising them to actively participate,” Halimbu said.