Undialu happy with the 4.27pc dividend for Kroton Equity


HELA Governor Philip Undialu has welcomed the announcement of a dividend for the 4.27 per cent Kroton Equity, under the PNG LNG project.
He described it as fitting Christmas and New Year gift to the landowners and the five provincial governments affected by the project – Hela, South Highlands, Western, Gulf and Central.
He said the 4.27 per cent Kroton equity was granted during six weeks of negotiations at the Kokopo Umbrella Benefit Sharing Forum in 2009.
“It was gifted by then Prime Minister, the late Sir Michael Somare,” Undialu said.
“However ministers and those leading the negotiation decided to charge us US$240 million (about K822 million) per percent point or roughly US$1.024 billion or more than K3 billion.
“Landowners were inadequately informed about the deal and made them to sign the UBSA,” he said.
“Many landowner signatories to this very day regret signing the deal and question themselves how they agreed to pay the Government K3 billion for the resources they owned and for the very project that they made a lot of sacrifices for.
“To ensure the province received all its dues especially from 2020 when Cabinet directed KPHL to establish a special purpose vehicle company to receive direct payment from ExxonMobil, hold and manage or simply transfer to the beneficiary groups rather than getting absorbed to complicate KPHL structure.
“The SVP should be a standalone company free of Government influence and control.”
Undialu wants the Kroton equity to become a dominant player and lender in private equity and financial sector in the region in the next 10 years, as it was estimated to generate over K400 million annually.