Governors offer option for landowners

Two Governors from the affected provinces of the PNG Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project say they can hold unidentified landowners share of the 4.27 per cent indirect interest until such time the vetting process is done and genuine landowners are identifi

Hela Governor, Francis Potape, and Southern Highlands Governor, William Powi, said this on TVWAN’s ‘Nau’ Program last night.

Both Governors said as the duly elected leaders of their respective provinces, they could sign on behalf of the unidentified leaders given the looming deadline on December 31.

They said they will hold the unidentified landowners portion of the 4.27 per cent interest in a trust until the Government completes the vetting process.

Potape says their equity share can be parked under a trust but not for long as he wants the Government to commence the vetting process immediately.

“I want the government to identify them. But if worse comes to worse, we can represent everybody and sign for them and also the key landowners can be called on to sign for everybody and their benefit will be held in trust and once identification is completed the funds can be paid to the rightful people,” says Potape.

Governor Powi also said: “I think you can qualify that we can make this kind of decision because we are against time and certain circumstance are beyond our control.”

On Wednesday (Dec 14h) Potape and Powi, along with Central Governor Kila, Haoda, signed and agreed to the vendor financing option proposed by the Government.

Governor Powi said the option was the best one for them after consultations carried out by a third party on several other alternatives.

Under the vendor financing option, Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) assists landowners, through a standby facility, to purchase their share of the 4.27 per cent interest in the PNG LNG.

Cedric Patjole