16 Aug 2010

Landowner protest forces construction on PNG's LNG project to stop again

3:41 pm on 16 August 2010

Construction work at the Kobalu supply and forward base for Papua New Guinea's multi-billion-kina Liquified Natural Gas project in Tari in the Southern Highlands has been stopped by protest.

The newspaper, The National, reports that work was yesterday forced to stop by angry landowners at the site of the ExxonMobil-led project.

More than 100 local employees, attached to the international contractor Red Seas Housing Services Ltd, also supported the landowners and walked off their jobs, complaining of poor working conditions and unfair treatment.

Kobalu landowners' leader, Andrew Pulupe, said they supported moves by Hides landowners to force a stop-work until the government and LNG project developer, ExxonMobil, address some of their demands.

Kobalu landowners want to benefit from the government's business development grants like other landowner groups.

They are also demanding that ExxonMobil restructure the umbrella landowner company, Hides Gas Development Corporation, and include landowner companies as shareholders.