Tension forces ExxonMobil to send some workers home


EXXONMOBIL is still keeping “essential workers only” at the Hides Gas Conditioning plant in Hela because of tension in the area last month.
A spokesperson from the company told The National yesterday that ExxonMobil was still monitoring the situation.
ExxonMobil is the operator of the US$19 billion (K374.34bil) PNG LNG project that the province hosts.
“ExxonMobil PNG is continuing to monitor ongoing tension in the Highlands (Hides, Angore, Komo) areas,” the spokesperson said.
“The safety and security of our employees, contractors and the local community is a top priority. Staffing at the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant remains at essential personnel only.
“Non-essential personnel have been relocated to other areas of business including our Port Moresby office and the LNG Plant.
“The Hides Gas Conditioning Plant is operating safely at normal production levels.”
On Nov 21, more than 100 workers from ExxonMobil working at the Hides Conditioning Plant left.
Provincial police commander Michael Welly confirmed that his officers escorted the workers to the airport to travel on the first flight out of Komo to Port Moresby.
Hela Deputy Governor Thomas Potape said that the landowners wanted to shut down the LNG project due to their prolonged outstanding benefit payments.