LNG project work on hold

National, Normal

THE “temporary halt” to work in the PNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Southern Highlands province has prompted landowner leaders calling on the Government to resolve the conflicts quickly.
The leaders from Southern Highlands condemned tribal and village conflicts that were affecting early works in the project areas, including portion 152 in Central province on the outskirts of Port Moresby.
Leaders Larry Andagali of Hides, Mark Sakai of Kutubu and Edward Alina of Moran, expressed their concern in a statement saying, the troubles had forced project operator Esso Highlands Limited to halt work in Southern Highlands.
“The temporary suspension of construction work in parts of Southern Highlands was to allow adjustments to project security plans.
“This action was taken by project consortium led by operator Esso Highlands Ltd in response to a continuing series of violent incidents in the areas,” LNG spokesman Miles Shaw said.
But work is continuing as normal at portion 152 despite the recent clash and deaths between Porebada and Lealea.
The leaders said: “We are also very concerned that the troubles are causing anxiety and nervousness among the project stakeholders and financiers.
“We understand that the full financing package for the project has not yet been finalised and the current situation may cause unnecessary delays to the process.”
They said the project was important to national economy and the future, and called for peace and common sense to prevail in the affected areas.
The leaders called on Government authorities to work overtime to resolve the various conflicts and disputes so that the project can resume operations and meet its deadlines.