LNG base camp attacked

National, Normal


VILLAGERS from the LNG project impacted areas in Gulf have attacked construction workers of Curtain Clough Joint Ventures (CCJV) and burnt heavy machineries and trucks.
The destruction happened last Friday night at a quarry site near Kaiam Ferry in Kikori.
It could not be confirmed by police but it was understood that high-powered weapons were used in the surprise attack.
No man or woman was at the site during the raid.
Machines or equipment destroyed included a 740 dump truck and a service truck, a source, who was made aware of the incident, said.
The reason for the attack could not be substantiated but pictures made available to The National last night showed holes of pellets penetration on big trucks and the burnt machineries.
The National understood that the landowners’ unrest was part of an ongoing disagreement by various landowners along the entire PNG LNG project footprint – from Juha in Western to Hides, Angore, Moran and Kutubu in the Southern Highlands, to Gulf and portion 152 west of Port Moresby.
The landowners have openly expressed frustration about the lack of participation in the early works.
Landowners in the Gobe area yesterday presented a petition to Esso Highlands highlighting some demands about the project. But, this was not related to the attack at the camp site.
Police could not confirm details of what transpired last Friday but PNG LNG project operator Esso Highlands Ltd stated that the matter was under police investigation.
The National was informed late yesterday that the villagers struck last Friday – at Kaiam, near the Omati River and Kopi LNG facility or base camp, between the Gulf-Southern Highlands provincial boundaries.
CCJV workers and its machineries were working on the early works component and building infrastructure needed to provide logistics for subsequent engineering procurement construction.
Several attempts last night to get independent and official confirmation of the attack from provincial police commanders of Gulf, Western and Southern Highlands failed.