"We declare our first goal to be for every person to be dynamically involved in the process of freeing himself or herself from every form of domination or oppression so that each man or woman will have the opportunity to develop as a whole person in relationship with others".

- Papua New Guinea National Goals and Directive Principles

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Hypocrisy thy name is ExxonMobil

Ah so a company who is above the law (re Tumbi!!), now wants the law to protect its operations, we wonder can Exxon have its cake and eat it too?

Hides Gas Plant Shuts

Post Courier, 16 March 2012

ESSO Highlands Limited (EHL), the operator of the multibillion kina PNG LNG Project has suspended its early works at the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant (HGCP) site.

EHL media and communication adviser Rebecca Arnold yesterday confirmed the suspension and said EHL has requested a group of people in the Hides area to cease the illegal stop-work activities they are undertaking.  “Work has been temporarily suspended in the Hides area, but is continuing throughout the rest of the Project area. The matter has been referred to the police,” Ms Arnold in an email when asked to confirm the stop work and suspension of early works.

EHL also maintained that the PNG LNG Project encourages continued co-operation between communities, the Government and the Project to constructively address issues as they arise, without impact to ongoing Project activities. “We have taken steps to engage with the group to understand their concerns, and it is disappointing that they have taken these actions. The community is also being impacted, as people are unable to work due to threats made to our workforce. The group is aware that there is a formal grievance process with respect to land access, where adjudication can be made by a Chief Warden.

“The benefits that flow from the Project will have a broad, positive impact on the country, and it is important that the Project is completed on time,” she added. Landowner leaders from the Hides yesterday confirmed that the early works at the Hides 4 PDL7 and PDL1 areas have been interrupted on Monday.

Landowners spokespersons Henry Parilia and Hides 4 Gigira Joint Venture Chairman Willie Ayule respectively told the Post Courier yesterday that the reason for shutting down the early work were mainly to do with the Government payout of the IDGs to Hela Transitional Authority (HTA). “The payment was hijacked by HTA and we are not sure if the money allocated for PDL 1 and PDL 7 will ever reach us. 
We know elections are around the corner and because of local politics, this money will not build any schools and health centres at the project areas,” Mr Parilia said.”

Mr Ayule added that HTA was not a signatory to the LNG agreement and was total stranger to receive affected areas’ funds. They said at Hides that every time, landowners want payments for outstanding commitments by Government and EHL, impacted landowners are left out of the payments and people who do not understand the needs of the landowners receive the money and do not implement infrastructure projects in the impacted areas. They said that the project was forced to shut down because EHL had not delivered on its promise to deliver temporary water tanks for villagers affected by contaminated water living near the HGCP at Hides 4. They stressed that 250ha of land has been developed for the project and the environment consequences of the development had not been properly addressed. 

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