Disgruntled landowners in Papua New Guinea's Hela province have threatened to shut down the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project over royalties grievances
They claim the government has not paid them what is due after 20 shipments of LNG exports in the landmark project, the Pacific region's biggest single commercial development.
A group of landowner representatives yesterday presented notice of their intentions to the project operator ExxonMobil at the Hides gas conditioning plant site in Hela.
The landowners have given the government seven days to respond with outstanding royalty and equity payments or face a shutdown of the entire LNG operations.
In the meantime, the gates to the Hides plant have been forcibly locked down by landowners, who chopped down trees to block access to the project site for Exxon and its contractors.
Landowner representatives warned police that they were fully armed and ready to confront any security personal that confront them, with police also being warned to vacate the Hides site.
This comes amid reports that police are deploying extra security personnel to the Hides area to protect the project sites.