Headed by the French-based Total S.A. company, the team has signalled it will proceed with the Papua LNG project, previously known as the Elk-Antelope resource.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill today welcomed the decision and said negotiations will now continue to ensure that gas not only derives export income, but also provides strong direct input to economic development through downstream industries and electricity production.
“The third train of LNG is the next major economic development project for our nation, and will employ ten thousand workers in the construction phase,” the Prime Minister said.
“Most of the workforce will be Papua New Guinean, and as we saw with PNG-LNG construction, will provide a major boost to skills and capacity in our workforce.
“We have to keep moving forward with the next phase of this project, as agreed with the Total and partners, so that we reach project milestones on time and the economic benefits of the project can be realized.
“Very importantly there will be ongoing negotiations to ensure clear national benefits from each stage of the process are shared with Papua New Guineans.
“We have to ensure that the people of Papua New Guinea have the opportunity to utilise our gas for domestic economic activity.
“A national petrochemicals industry has great potential for our nation, and we want to improve our own energy security by using more of our gas for power generation.”
The Prime Minister said there will be announcements made by joint venture partners in the coming months as they continue to complete surveys and analysis on specific construction items.
“The next two years will see work underway that will include social mapping and land identification studies, societal impact assessments, and the finalization of construction requirements.
“The Government stands ready to move ahead with preparatory work, including ensuring regulatory requirements are met and processed, and environment studies are undertaken.
“There will be further clarification of arrangements between the project and the Government, and the marketing of Papua LNG will be underway.
“The gas from the Elk-Antelope field is high quality and despite current global energy prices, by the time Papua LNG reaches the market it is anticipated energy prices will have improved.
“Our proximity to the constantly growing Asian market also places Papua LNG in a very strong competitive position.”