The Papua LNG project plans in Gulf brings hope for services


PLANS are underway to develop the Papua LNG project in Gulf.
It is set to become one of the biggest resource development projects in the country after ExxonMobil’s PNG LNG Project.
Its development will undoubtedly usher in unprecedented social and economic opportunities for the country, while consolidating and cementing the country’s profile as a major player in the petroleum industry in Asia-Pacific region and at global level.
It is anticipated that the country, and particularly the host province, will positively benefit from its development.
Last November, during the Apec Summit, the State and Total SA (developer) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to proceed with the intention of developing the Papua LNG Project.
The State’s major role is to guarantee the security of the project in order for Total to confidently proceed to develop it at commercial level.
According to updates on the progress of the Papua LNG project, the State is finalising the necessary processes to ensure security of the project is guaranteed.
Accordingly, it is currently conducting land investigation studies in the project footprint areas to confirm and finalise customary landowners of project license areas of wellhead, pipeline, dockyard and storage and buffer zone.
The land investigation report from this study will be furnished with the minister for petroleum, who will then proceed to issue a ministerial determination.
The determination will be published in the print media indicating affected landowners (clans) within the project license areas of the wellhead, pipeline, dockyard and storage and buffer zone.
A 30-day grace period will be granted for landowners to raise any grievances for the minister to consider.
Once all these issues have been addressed, the minister will send an invitation to confirmed landowners, including the Gulf provincial government, Baimuru LLG and Ihu LLG to attend the development forum.
The forum is an avenue where the State will present benefits emanating from Papua LNG Project to affected landowners, Gulf government and Baimuru and Ihu LLGs.
The agreed outcomes will be signed between the State and these stakeholders in a development agreement.
The Papua LNG Project will directly impact more than 30,000 people, including 41 communities who speaks eight different languages, in five different ecological zones.
Accordingly, this is a massive project that will have a significant effect, not only for affected landowners within the project’s license areas but also for the entire people of Gulf as a whole.
Indications seem to suggest that the lack of early preparedness on the part of landowners is breeding all sorts of unrealistic expectations and unhealthy activities.
These are further exacerbating the problem of being kept in suspense for so long since the announcement was made to develop the Papua LNG Project.
While this scenario is being played out, there are leaders at village level aggressively lobbying and vying for directorship and chairmanship positions in proposed landowner companies that will be formed during the license-based benefit sharing agreement (LBBSA) after the development forum.
This tussle for positions and power is creating enmity within and between clans.
Given this situation, I took the initiative with assistance from the locals within the Baimuru subdistrict of Kikori, to carry out awareness and educational workshops about the Papua LNG Project in a bid to educate the people so that they can be better prepared to participate effectively in the project.
The people generally expressed their concerns to see tangible development in their communities after being neglected by authorities for a long time.
This concern was clearly demonstrated by dilapidated infrastructure of essential government services such as aid posts and classrooms, or lack of these vital infrastructure, in their communities.
In fact, Baimuru subdistrict and Kikori as a whole, is almost a forgotten area in Papua New Guinea.
This is about to change for the better.

Eugene Kambut

One thought on “The Papua LNG project plans in Gulf brings hope for services

  • There must be a proper Ministerial Determination could entertain total interest of stake holders or land Owners

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