by Vanessa Knight – EM TV, Port Moresby
Opposition leader, Don Polye, has come out in support of the Gulf Elk Antelope landowners.
The Opposition leader today urged the government to ensure that the country’s next Liquefied Natural Gas project is local, national and indigenous business-focused.
Polye said prior to the commencement of any project work, a significant portion of the socio-economic, infrastructure and business benefits agreed for the people must first be delivered, and services like health, education, transport, local content and business opportunities must be properly articulated as compulsory requiremen’s.
The Elk-Antelope gas field in the Gulf Province bears immeasurable potential in contributing to the country’s gas industry and is expected to double the Nation’s current LNG output; however, Polye says the local people must be the major focus of the project.
The leader indicated that local consideration and participation must be included in all aspects of the project including ownership of the LNG pipe, LNG processing plants, LNG transportation, including shipment and the petro-chemical industry.
Recently, Gulf landowners threatened to close down the proposed plant site following statemen’s by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill who supported plans by developers to pipe out gas from the area through the merging of pipelines with the existing PNGLNG project, which sources gas from Hela Province.
The opposition leader supports the landowners by objecting to the proposed merge, saying keeping the two gas projects separate allows for more investmen’s and competition.
He said both suggestions to pipe out gas from Gulf Province to Port Moresby, or to build a processing plant and wharfage at Gulf bears considerable costs, however when weighed, the preferable solution would be to set up the processing plant in Gulf, where the people can manage and rip the benefits of their own natural resources.