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Papua New Guinea seeks to speed up LNG project

Papua New Guinea seeks to speed up LNG project

Port Moresby: The government is gearing towards fast-tracking the negotiation and conclusion of the gas agreement to pave way for the proposed multi-billion kina Exxon Mobil-led liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the country.
Secretary for Petroleum and Energy Rendle Rimua said the move aims to ensure that the proposed project enters its 12-month front end engineering and design (FEED) programme stage.
The FEED programme, according to a statement released by Mr Rimua, may begin "in the early part of the second quarter of this year" once the gas deal is signed between the State and the project's Exxon Mobil-led development partners.
The current hurdle to push the project to FEED concerns issues on pricing of LNG, which will be covered in the gas agreement talks.
Mr Rimua said: "The Government is committed to ensure the PNG LNG project is delivered within the time schedule that will be the project sanctioning once the FEED programme is complete.
"The project has the full support of the Government because it is a top priority, and the Government is committed to delivering it to the people.
"The benefits of the project on ordinary Papua New Guineans cannot be overstated," he said.
Mr Rimua said Exxon Mobil and its development partners have already submitted to his department a national content plan for the proposed project.
The plan addresses workforce development, including training and localisation; supplier development that covers local business participation in the LNG project and; strategic community development that looks at investment in the community.
"The national content plan is very comprehensive and clearly articulates the developers' approach in complementing the Government's overall goals and objectives towards socio-economic development," Mr Rimua said.
The entire LNG project is expected to cost over US$10 billion (K30 billion), making it the largest project ever to be undertaken in PNG and the third largest LNG development project in the world.  [26/02/08]

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