The National- Wednesday, January 26, 2011
By PATRICK TALU
THE shutting down of the Hides 4 LNG plant site is the culmination of unattended and outstanding issues relating to the liquefied natural gas project between the landowners, project operator ExxonMobil, the state and contractors, landowner representatives said yesterday.
Andy Hamaga, Erick Hawai, Erick Haroli, John Galoma and Chris Payabe, representing various well heads and block companies from PDL1 and PDL7 said the shutdown, initiated by the relatives of a boy who had died, was not the only reason for landowner dissatisfaction.
The leaders said the death of the boy, and the hospitalisation of two others, occurred at a time when the situation on the ground was volatile due to a build-up of discontentment and anger over the government’s inability to honour its various commitments and other outstanding issues.
Hamaga outlined the issues as:
.Outstanding memorandum of agreement commitments;
.Business development grants as per the UBSA and LBSA set formula;
.State to tell the landowners on the progress on the substitute of MRDC and EIC;
.Release of the infrastructural grants;
.Addressing the resettlement issue;
.ILGs before UBSA and LBSA; and
.On-site issues as per the LBBSA.
“The range of issues has accumulated over time and the sudden death of the child has added fuel to the fire and the consequence is the site closure,” Hamaga said.
“We want to clarify to the stakeholders of the PNG LNG project, and the people of PNG, that there are multiple reasons that need answers from both, the developer and the state, to ensure the smooth running of the project,” he added.
“When commitments are made, we do not do it for the sake of doing it or to serve the interest of one party,” Hawai said.
They called on state ministers, developer and the landowners to convene a high-level meeting comprising all parties to iron out all issues so that the project could go ahead without any more delays.