Connect the dots.
Big three set to finalise LNG deals
THREE more friends of Papua New Guinea, Japan, China and Taiwan are expected to
conclude liquefied natural gas sales and purchase agreements before the final
investment decision to be made on December 8.
State Enterprises Minister Arthur Somare said in a statement yesterday while
announcing that the project operator ExxonMobil had completed front end
engineering and design phase of the PNG LNG project.
He said the PNG Government recognised that as PNG moved into November, the next
five weeks would be critical to ensuring the PNG LNG project makes a final
investment decision by December.
“The project has continued to achieve important milestones in recent months. I
would like to congratulate the PNG LNG project consortium for successfully
concluding front end engineering and design studies and for being granted its
environment permit by the PNG Government recently,” Mr Somare said.
“It is now up to the National Government to conclude the licence-based benefits
sharing agreements, the first of which was signed in Port Moresby last month.
The remaining agreements are expected to be signed in the next few weeks.”
ExxonMobil will need to finalise loan finance for the venture as well as
conclude sales and purchase agreements with four customers who are Japan, China
and Taiwan prior to the planned announcement of the final investment decision.
He said recent media reports attempted to cast doubts on whether the PNG LNG
project would help alleviate poverty and improve living standards.
“I wish to reiterate that I have no doubt about the transformational impacts of
this project. Detailed studies have shown that the PNG LNG project was
economically robust and would live up to its promise of helping to transform the
PNG economy and helping to raise living standards generally.”
About 60,000 landowners in remote rural areas representing 1 per cent of the
total PNG population will be direct beneficiaries of royalties and dividends in
addition to the greatly increased capacity of the National Government,
provincial governments and local level governments to deliver improved
ExxonMobil itself has made it clear at the seminar last week of its commitment
to build local capacity and is implementing a variety of programs.