Landowners from four villages in Central Province, this morning, blocked off access to the PNGLNG Plant Site over concerns regarding Royalty Payments.
The villagers from Papa, Boera, Porebada and Lealea blocked off access to the plant site from as early as 6am, forcing traffic into the plant site to be halted.
According to their leaders, the actions by villagers were in response to continuous unfavorable actions by the government – more specifically, the non-payment of Royalties by government.
The landowners claim they are owed in excess of K200 million in royalty payments from LNG Shipments – dating back to May 2014 – when the first LNG Shipment left this facility.
Despite the large crowd, police presence has so far ensured minimal disruptions, with Central Provincial Police Commander, Laimo Asi, commending the villagers for conducting themselves in an orderly manner.
In a statement, an ExxonMobil PNG spokesperson has told EMTV Online that while this is a matter between the landowners and the government, ExxonMobilPNG is continuing to do everything we can to facilitate communication between all parties.
“…We respect the right of individuals to peacefully protest, but we also encourage continued dialogue between landowners and the government to resolve their outstanding issues. We hope that landowners and the government can resolve this situation promptly and in an amicable manner.
We are committed to maintaining a positive relationship with landowners, the government and the wider community. The LNG Plant is continuing to operate.”