EARLY works on the multi-billion kina PNG LNG projects at Hides 4 PDL 7 and the existing Hides PDL 1 would shut down today.
This was confirmed by police and some employees of international contractors developing the proposed LNG condensation plant site and other operations within the Hides 4 PDL 7 and Hides PDL 1 projects sites.
The sources said developer of the LNG project ExxonMobil through its subsidiary Esso Highlands Ltd (EHL) had asked all the international contractors like Clough Curtain Joint Venture (CCJV), Chicago Bridge and Iron Clough (CBIC) working on the engineering, procurement and constructions (EPC) 4 phase, the development of the LNG condensation plant site at Para and Spiecapag that is contracted to develop the LNG pipeline route to "stop work today as a sign of respect" for the late Tuguba and Hides landowner, chief Himuni Homoko.
Mr Homoko's body is expected to arrive in Tari from Port Moresby today for burial. His relatives and other landowner leader from Hides 4 PDL 7 and Hides PDL 1 have demanded the national government to release their outstanding memorandum of agreement (MOA) and other benefits, adding that the late Homoko died while awaiting these payments. The sources said no stop work occurred on the weekend as reported by the other newspaper despite their brief stop on Sunday but resumed again on Monday.
Police mobile squads providing security at the Hides LNG project sites confirmed yesterday that they were aware of the stop-work today in respect of the late chief.
The LNG policemen said they would be on full alert in case some opportunists take advantage of the situation and cause trouble with the developers and the project.
Police said on Saturday evening, some landowners fronted up at the gates of Hides 4 with a portrait of their late leader and demanded the international contractors to stop work until the government addressed some of their demands, like the immediate release of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) funds.
However, police said they intervened and despite the short commotion which was peaceful and non confrontational, all operations at the project site resumed on Monday.