First LNG Loading On Hela Spirit

It was history in the making today, the loading of the first PNG Liquefied Natural Gas, onto LNG carrier vessel, Hela Spirit.

Eighty thousand tonnes of LNG will be shipped to the Asian market. A ceremony was held at the LNG plant’s Marine terminal, to commemorate the launch.


Special Tribute was paid to the then Somare Government, for believing in the project. Six years after the LNG Project was approved by Project venture participants and finally, the production phase has arrived ahead of the schedule too.


A tour of the plant gave a glimpse of the magnitude of the project. This structure known as a Train is where the Liquefied Natural gas is kept after it travels down all the way from Hela in the Southern Highlands province. There are currently two trains. The onshore tanks are capable of safely storing the very cold liquid, which will be transported via specialized vessels.


An exclusive ceremony was held to capture the moment. Invited guests, included Sir Michael Somare, Prime Minister at the time of the initial project signing, and then IPBC Minister, Arthur Somare, often referred to as the architect behind the negotiations.


Exxon Mobil Managing Director, Peter Graham said the years had been challenging, but with sound engineering, planning and creative solutions by a dedicated group of people, the project has come this far.


He said the facilities have been constructed over the last four years and for the last few months, gradually handed over to the production team. He thanked the government and the people of Papua New Guinea for supporting the project.


Sir Michael Somare said it had been a long hard road, especially in a society that was fragmented with a diversity of beliefs. Hela Governor, Anderson Agiru said he was besieged by the significance of the moment, thanking his people for their support.


Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill gave his vote of confidence in the country for accommodating a world class operation.


The Finance Minister, James Marape said a prayer in the Huli language. The honor was then given to the Prime Minister to officially give the order to the ships operating crew, to start loading the LNG onto the vessel.


A total of six ships will be rotating to export the LNG to the Asian Markets. Meantime, there will be an opportunity for PNG to buy some of the LNG Gas to counter electricity issues.


The loading of the LNG is said to take up to four days, its first destination is Japan. The production phase has begun; this will be the process for the next 40 years.

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