by Michelle Amba – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Petroleum and Energy Minister, Nixon Duban, has responded to questions raised by Gulf LNG landowners.
Minister Duban says the approval by the state to have gas piped out of Gulf was made basing on project economics.
He said said it is economically viable to have it piped out then to build a processing plant in Gulf.
The Petroleum and Energy Minister said that decision to have gas piped out of Gulf was made after various considerations. He said one important factor is the cost of setting up a processing plant in Gulf.
Landowners including the Gulf Provincial government have opposed the announcement by the developer to have gas piped and processed at Caution Bay, Central Province.
They have also threatened to shut down all water ways if their demands are not considered.
However, Minister responsible for the project says the state and landowners should not try to get in the way of the project by making decisions that are not economically viable.
Minister Duban said the 2nd LNG project is projected to go into full production and its construction phase will create 2 thousand employment opportunities for the people of Gulf alone.
He said the biggest gain for PNG from this project is that it will grant third party access.
Meanwhile, the Minister said he is aware of the disappointment shown by the Gulf people in the name change.
He said this decision was made because there are other references to Gulf in the world, and Papua reflects Papua New Guinea. “The name change suits PNG and reflects who we are, the people of Gulf should not be short sighted,” said minister Duban.