By BARNEY ORERE PONDROS
PNG LNG project pipeline landowners from the Gulf province signed the licence- based benefit sharing agreement (LBBSA) in Port Moresby last Friday.
Landowners from the Gulf-Southern Highlands border to Kaimari Creek in Kutubu have also signed.
“That is 70 % of the landowners and I am optimistic we will wrap up the signing by Tuesday,” team leader of pipeline LBBSA Peter Koim confirmed yesterday afternoon.
The signing took place at Granville Motel where landowners from the Gulf converged to show solidarity towards the PNG LNG project and then set ink on the agreement.
Despite protests by a few landowners, the signing took place without much debate.
The only concern was the content of the agreement.
Mr Koim told the Gulf landowners and the others that signed last Friday that the agreement was basically what was agreed to during the Kokopo umbrella benefit sharing agreement.
He said any other issue, such as land issues, would have to be sorted with relevant Government agencies such as the Lands Department.
For today, Mr Koim is confident that remaining landowners will put pen to paper.
“The 70 % that have signed is very critical and I am confident we can wrap things up by close of business on Monday (today),” he said.
The remaining landowners are from Beneria and Maruba in the SHP.
For those that have signed, DPE will start making arrangements for them to travel to their areas.
The scenario is that if the remaining landowners refuse to sign, a ministerial determination will be made by the Petroleum and Energy Minister William Duma.