Owners want govt to address LNG land issues

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday November 5th, 2013

 LANDOWNERS are calling on the government to address land issues on the proposed site of the second liquefied natural gas (LNG) project that is being developed by Interoil.

The company announced last week it was confident of delivering the second LNG on time, saying negotiations with parties were almost complete.

Landowner spokesman Moses Guntu said there was a conflict about who the real owners of the land were where a feeder road would be built, at the Lese-Aro village, and into the proposed site.

He said Interoil chief executive officer Michael Hession should liaise with the Malalaua district administration, the Lands Department and local mediation team to identify the real landowners and award ownership of the concerned land.

“The ownership of the land has been disputed in the courts since the late 1990s,” Guntu said.

“And the courts are yet to identify the rightful landowners. These issues have resulted in many lives lost and resources wasted over prolonged court battles.”

Guntu said all landowners concerned welcomed the new LNG project but land issues should be sorted out.

“The project will create employment opportunities and spin-off business activities for the local communities,” he said.

“However, we will appreciate all issues resolved prior to any new developments so that it is a win-win situation for all.”