PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare will highlight the regional impact of the PNG LNG project when 21 Apec leaders meet in Singapore this week to discuss ways to stimulate global economic recovery.
The Asia Pacific Economic Conference (Apec) forum leaders’ meeting, “Sustaining growth, connecting the region”, occurs at a time of ongoing concern about the global financial crisis.
Sir Michael said he was convinced that the PNG LNG project, as one of the biggest investment ventures in the region, could play a significant role in stimulating regional trade and investment.
“We have seen the big stimulus it has provided the PNG economy. Once project construction commences early next year, this project will also stimulate investments in several Apec economies, including China, Japan, Taiwan, Australia and the United States.”
Much of the US$15 billion (K42 billion) LNG project budget will pay for equipment and services from abroad, including about half a million tonnes of steel pipelines and billions of dollars worth of materials for two LNG trains to be built near Port Moresby.
These activities will spur domestic investment in supplier countries.
In the case of China, PNG’s customer, Sinopec will spend billions of dollars to build an LNG import facility at the port of Qingdao in Shandong province.
Sir Michael said: “These countries will provide goods and services as well as finance for the PNG LNG project, leading to stronger economic ties with PNG.
“LNG exports will bolster and transform regional trading links.
“LNG gas exports from PNG have been conservatively valued at more than US$150 billion over the 20-year life of the project.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Papua New Guinea to major investors in developed and developing member countries of Apec and to establish the nation’s credentials as a dynamic economy within the Asia-Pacific region.”