PAPUA New Guinea now has two liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, Petroleum and Energy Minister William Duma said.
He said this moments after the Government and developer of the Elk/Antelope LNG project, InterOil, signed the project agreement at Government House in Port Moresby.
“The signing means there are now two LNG projects and if both are realised, they will bring big benefits for this country.
“The project agreement now paves the way forward in the implementation phase,” he said.
Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare said he was pleased that “we get a second LNG coming through at the Christmas eve. It must be the feeling of Him (referring to God) that decided that PNG should be blessed during this Christmas eve”.
He acknowledged everyone from the State departments, Gulf provincial government and administration, project joint venture partners and landowners alike.
The gas agreement between the Government and Liquid Niugini Gas Ltd (LNGL) which is 52%-owned by InterOil, was signed yesterday for the construction of the LNG complex for processing resource.
The agreement was signed by acting Governor-General Dr Allan Marat, Mr Duma, InterOil’s chief executive officer and chairman Phil Mulacek and executive director Christian Vinson and was witnessed by State Solicitor George Minjihau in a packed room which included departmental heads, company executives and other dignitaries.
“These two projects are the ideal Christmas presents that we can give to the people of Papua New Guinea,” Sir Michael said.
With the project agreement in place, Mr Mulacek said financing was the next thing on the list of things to do which would be done together with project partners including Petromin PNG Holdings Ltd (for State’s 22.5% interest) and Department of Petroleum and Energy.
“We have a number of people that are interested in the financing. We are going to evaluate with the Department and the Government and our partner Petromin,” he said.
It is understood a Japanese group had made a financing proposal to the Prime Minister’s Department details of which were not immediately available.
Mr Duma said the initial proposal was for a 360km pipeline and LNG processing facility to be built at Napanapa for the gas to be supplied initially from Elk/Antelope gas fields in Gulf province.
Petromin managing director Joshua Kalinoe said: “The project has provisions for domestic market obligations for third party access … the Elk/Antelope project will give more value in terms of downstream processing businesses such as power generation and petrochemical industries.”