Papua LNG plant to remain at Caution Bay

The PNG Government says it supports Total PNG’s decision to establish the Papua LNG Plant site at Caution Bay in Central Province.

Minister for Petroleum and Energy, Nixon Duban, said the Government respected the decision by Total as the decision wass based on project economics.

Duban made the statement in Parliament this week when asked by Kairuku-Hiri MP, Peter Isoiamo, to clarify on where the plant site would be as the Caution Bay location is situated within his jurisdiction and close to the PNG LNG Site.

Gulf Governor, Havila Kavo, has been vocal about having the plant site in his Province and not in Central Province.

Duban told Parliament that the synergies in the PNG LNG and the Papua LNG were one of the major reasons for the decision to locate the plant at Caution Bay.

“As government we are supporting Total we think that’s the right decision they have made and it is an important milestone for this country we as government have respected that decision because it is based purely on project economics and Caution Bay will remain the project location for Total,” said Duban.

Isoaimo also asked Duban on when royalties for plant site landowners would be paid as the ministerial determination has been made in 2015.

Duban said that process of payment for the plant site landowners is already underway with a recently concluded election for directors of villages at the plant site.

He said while legal challenges are still a stumbling block for the payments to all landowners, the Ministerial Determination gurantees the release of funds to landowners.

“As I speak that process has been concluded.  And it is important to understand that this step is being managed by the Electoral Commission and MRDC so that these particular directors can elect a chairman so that they can be part of the MRDC that qualifies for the Petroleum Resources Plant Site Companies,” said Duban.

He added “I as the Minister responsible I see no problem,  I believe the Ministerial Determination has strong standing in terms of determining landowners around the country and while the courts as part of the judicial review have their own interpretation the provision under the oil and gas act is very clear, the Ministerial Determination stands to be counted as the correct position of this country and we can proceed to pay all the landowners.”


Cedric Patjole