The National- Monday, January 24, 2011
THE PNG gas project must not be disturbed as it will be a major revenue source for the landowners, Southern Highlands and the country, provincial treasurer Lawrence Olkoben said on Saturday.
He said the LNG project would greatly benefit the country, province and landowners.
“Oil projects in the province are coming to their end and oil prices are falling; we will now depend on LNG as a major source of revenue.”
Olkoben and Hides Special Purpose Authority chairman Lemson Mabiria made a special plea to the landowners not to further disturb work at the LNG project sites.
“I appeal to all stakeholders, including the landowners, to protect the project,” Mabiria said.
“Leaders must take ownership of the project and resolve outstanding grievances through the proper channels.”
He said project developer ExxonMobil had some outstanding issues such as awarding contracts to landowner companies and the state also had outstanding MoA and business development grants payments.
Mabiria appealed to ExxonMobil and its contractors to move in and continue working as most people were supportive of the project.
Mabiria reiterated his call for a special committee to be established comprising landowner leaders, developer, provincial administration and the state to address outstanding issues.
“There must not be any unnecessary stop-work at the project site.”
He also called on the national government to set up boom gates at Nagoli and Hides 4 for only authorised persons to move in and out of the project areas.
Olkoben said one of the problems with the BDG was that it did not involve the provincial administration.
“It will be beneficial if the BDG was paid out at project sites or in the provincial capital with the provincial government supervising.
“We have our own commerce and business development officers in the districts to assist landowners in their businesses.”
Olkoben said provincial and district officers would assist for free instead of hiring consultants with massive fees.
He said the disturbance at the plant site was uncalled for and that work must resume.