LANDOWNERS from the LNG impact area in Komo-Margarima, Southern Highlands, have registered a clan company with the Investment Promotion Authority to ensure their participation and benefits from the gas project.
The landowners from the remote village in Hulia Beneria LLG said their registered company was Katajo Development Corporation Limited.
They are led by chairman Palibe Muna, deputy Agipe Ketalu, treasurer Piwane Kulapi and assistant Ken Minape.
The landowners are from the Kandepo Tawapi and Jogora clans who are the primary owners of block 16 and17 located within the LNG area.
“The clan company has been registered with the IPA to involve in all activities on and around block 16 and17, including the LNG pipeline route,” Mr Muna said.
He said they had presented a paper stating their position in the gas project to the developer, ExxonMobil, and the relevant Government agencies of the LNG project.
“We would like to make a submission to the Government agencies. But it looks like there is no room for such clan companies like us while the LNG project will go ahead in our customary lands,” he said.
“We have also requested seed capitals from the Government under its obligations to equip landowner companies to participate and benefit in the project.
“Katajo will participate in any spin-off businesses with the developers but they will have to reach an understanding for locals to benefit from the project.
“We are prepared to work closely with the developers peacefully.
“Our main aim is to participate and benefit from the project and to live and enjoy a better quality of life with access to better health, education and other basic services, including a developed local infrastructure with social and economic progress.”