6 May 2009

Landowners want greater equity stake in PNG Natural gas project

8:44 pm on 6 May 2009

Various landowner leaders have told Government representatives of their desire to have a bigger stake in equity in the PNG LNG project.

However the newspaper, The National, reports that increased equity remains a sticking point in the LNG Benefit Sharing Agreement , or BSA, talks in Kokopo.

Among those who have so far called for the increase are Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru, National Gas Corporation (NGC) chairman Alfred Kaiabe, landowners from Hides as well as Central province landowners led by Sir Moi Avei.

However the State has proposed 2% equity for the landowners of Hides, Kikori and Central province to be free-carried by the State but it appears that the general consensus among landowners, provincial governments and the NGC is for increased equity for up to 10% or more.

Meanwhile, an application to halt the BSA talks is expected to be filed in court this week, an action which could upset Government plans get an umbrella agreement signed as soon as possible.