"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

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Fears election violence could hit PNG LNG project

The head of Papua New Guinea's $US15 billion dollar ExxonMobil-led Liquefied Natural Gas project says he is concerned about the potential for violence during next month's elections.

The PNG LNG project is Papua New Guinea's flagship resources development, one of the key factors driving economic growth of nearly 8 per cent.

PNG LNG Managing Director Peter Graham has told a business forum in Brisbane exports are set to begin as planned in 2014.

But he says he's concerned about the impact of electoral violence, and they have been planning for the risk of election violence for 12 months. 

"We put a lot of effort with our contractors into preparing our camp sites, security around the campsites, ensuring that if the Highlands Highway were cut off by some protest or other, that we have stockpiled sufficient food and fuel and medical supplies and we have arrangements in place to fly stuff in if we need it," he said.

Much of the PNG LNG Project is located in volatile highlands provinces where a rapidly growing population and easy mobile phone communications is exacerbating the risk of conflicts escalating into large scale fights.

Mr Graham says with 16,000 staff in the field he cannot afford to have them unable to work.

"We can't afford to have people standing around for a day, or two days or a week if something should go wrong," he said.

"So we're pretty confident all of those plans will help us get through.

There's been speculation about the expansion of the PNG LNG plant at the plant just outside Port Moresby to double capacity.

With recent good exploration results, Mr Graham is no longer ruling that out.

"In order to install another train, similar to the trains we have today, we probably need about four or four and a half trillion cubit feet of gas," he said.

"That's about half of what we have today for the existing project ... our focus today is on delivering this project first.

"We are looking for additional gas to accumulate. It's going to take some time and some further drilling and a lot of expenditure to prove up gas for another one or two trains."


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