Petrochemical industry is next goal, says Agiru

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DEVELOPING a petrochemical industry is the next goal for Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru, now that the PNG LNG project has been approved.
“That’s my next target. My vision was achieved on Dec 8. I’m a satisfied man and I thank ExxonMobil and Oil Search, and the State team led by ministers William Duma and Arthur Somare.
“Now I’ll dedicate the next 10 years working on developing a petrochemical industry, starting with LPG,” he said.
LPG is the byproduct of LNG, after the wet gas is stripped. Since the PNG to Queensland gas pipeline project was mooted, Mr Agiru had consistently campaigned for an LNG plant to be built on shore, rather than piping the gas to Queensland.
He believed the country would benefit more when the gas was processed in-country.
He fully backed Oil Search and ExxonMobil when the PNG to Queensland pipeline project was abandoned, and the LNG project was pursued.
PNG would have been a passive player, and gained less financially, had the Queensland pipeline
project gone ahead.
“The pricing today is much better. The price of gas is around US$8.45/mmbtu which is better than the US$3.60/mmbtu that we would have got.
“The sale price concluded with customers is in the double digits, so we are much better off,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Agiru said Enga province, the brother of Hela, would not miss out on benefits.
At the just concluded licence-based benefits sharing agreement forums, Mr Agiru ensured that Enga provincial hospital would be built as part of the agreement.
Also to be built would be a road linking Tari to Porgera, Kandep, into Laiagam and Wabag and Wapenamanda.
Enga leaders were invited to the umbrella BSA in Kokopo and the LBBSA forums, but they did not attend.
“Despite their absence, I can assure the people of Enga that we will deliver these projects,” Mr Agiru said.