26 Jan 2012

Landslide expected to delay PNG gas project

9:00 am on 26 January 2012

Damage from a massive landslide in Southern Highlands in Papua New Guinea is expected to delay the multi-billion dollar Liquified Natural Gas project which is centred on the Hides gas field in the effected area.

Local media has reported the death toll could surpass 40 although National Disaster Management say four bodies have been recovered.

Wet weather and fears of another landslide are hampering search and rescue efforts.

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill travelled to the area on Wednesday to observe the damage and consult with representatives of the multi-billion dollar Liquified Natural Gas project which is centred on the Hides gas field in the effected area.

A landowner from the LNG site, Eric Huai, says the mound of mud and rocks stretches for about two kilometres and is around five hundred metres wide.

He says it's cut off the vital road to the LNG project

"To the main activities in the LNG project, it's been cut off. It's going to be delayed, definitely. It's realy a big concern for Exxon Mobil and the project."