PNG's Esso Highlands Ltd - security still an issue for LNG project

Updated at 11:05 am on 23 August 2011

The head of Esso Highlands Ltd says security remains the developers' chief concern in its Liquified Natural Gas Project in Papua New Guinea.

Reports from the Hela region, where the project is being constructed, claim some workers are dissastified with security provisions amid a high turnover of staff.

Esso's Managing Director, Peter Graham, admits the recent incident at Komo, where a foreign worker was severely injured in a bushknife attack, is a concern.

"To everyone: to the community, to the supervisors and the workforce and obviously ourselves. Our first priority is the safety and security of our people and the community in which they operate.Were working now in a very vigorous fashion with all parties to try and just make sure that we move forward from that incident; take the lessons learnt and apply them."

Peter Graham denies claims that the LNG project isn't hiring enough local people in the Highlands, saying 1400 of the 1800-strong workforce at Komo are nationals.

He says that for every operator of equipment in the field, there's a national shadow being trained to take up the job.

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