Work on LNG project resumes in PNG's Hela, locals confused over troop deployment

Construction work for Exxon Mobil's Liquefied Natural Gas project has resumed in Papua New Guinea's Hela region following a series of disruptions related to landowner issues and disputes over compensation.

Hela is the hub of the large LNG project which has been hampered by recent illegal blockades by landowner groups demanding compensation from government and developer over grievances related to the project.

Work appears to be back in full swing after Defence Force troops were recently deployed to the region following a government callout.

Stanley Mamu of the NGO LNG Watch says local communities are confused over the reason for the deployment.

"Not because of robbery or whatever, or fighting, but just because of those blockades. They just want to bulldoze everything without getting on the ground and investigating to gauge why the landowners have been blocking the road. So, people are living in fear, that's why."

Stanley Mamu

Next story in Pacific: EU comes to the aid of Fiji flooding victims