PM shows interest in LNG revenues

Prime Minister James Marape says he is also interested in what has happened to revenue collected by Kumul Petroleum Holdings since 2014, when the first lot of gas was exported.

His response came after Member for Moresby North-West, Sir Mekere Morauta, asked in Parliament if the company’s financial books can be made public.

Sir Mekere said: “There is a shortfall of K974 million as per the report from Treasury, and a K2 billion (shortfall), also according to Treasury. Why is this money still sitting out there? Prime Minister it’s reported that growth profit for Kumul Petroleum for 2017 was K1.4 billion but expenses, donations, debt payment and impairment and other costs, ate that K1 billion with only K300 million to be paid to the state.

“The audited value of the company fuelled is K1 billion in 2017, is incredible when the company’s earnings from LNG in that year, totalled K2.3 billion. Given apparent mismanagement of the finances of KPHL, Prime Minister will you table in Parliament reports of the company so there is public scrutiny?”

The Prime Minister said Treasury, IPBC and the Minister for State Owned Enterprises have been tasked to update on KPHL.

“We are making amendments to ensure there is a presence of Treasury in those SOEs, including KPHL.

“KPHL is an SOE and so we will bring the fullest report of the company for public scrutiny. As Tari-Pori MP too, I have greater interest in what’s happened to revenue from KPHL since 2014, when the first gas went out. KPHL is now on notice to prepare their books and present to us,” Prime Minister Marape said.

Meantime, the Prime Minister also confirmed that the K1 billion proposal to build an office for the Kumul headquarters in Port Moresby was aborted.

The proposal was submitted during the O’Neill regime, to which the former Prime Minister and member for Ialibu-Pangia said was rejected by cabinet.

Salome Vincent