By SHEILA LASIBORI
THE Gulf provincial government is leading the way in developing infrastructure for business activities in the province to support the InterOil-led liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.
The deep water port development at Orokolo Bay and the industrial park are the main projects, among others, being spearheaded by the provincial government led by Governor Havila Kavo.
At present, the hydrographic survey and feasibility study and infrastructure development are being carried out.
The project is conducted in consultation with project developer InterOil and Petromin (PNG) Holdings Ltd.
According to Mark Baiai, the executive director for Gulf Provincial Economic Development Authority (GPEDA), the provincial government through its company Gulf Oil and Gas holds 20% equity interest in the deep water port project under the build, operate and transfer (BOT) scheme.
The local people from both impacted and non-impacted areas will be offered shares in the company.
The deal was with Hong Kong-based company Energy World Investment (EWI).
The 20% equity is a free carry interest which will increase to 49% after 25 years based on commercial terms the provincial government entered into with EWI.
EWI holds 80% interest, which will change to 51% at the end of the 25 years.
Mr Baiai said the port’s location was strategic, being located directly south from Elk/Antelope project sites, and it is also accessible from by other provinces mostly in the highlands.
“It is strategic because it can become the next economic port which will support activities up in the Highlands and also would contribute to the country’s economic development.”
He said the GPEDA, together with Gulf Investment Trust Fund (GITF), developed the concept.
Mr Baiai said the industrial park also included developments for the deep sea port for the discharge of gas condensate, the dissemination of LNG from Elk/Antelope.
The authority also aims to support the InterOil project in providing the facilities to store and export the LNG product.