11 Aug 2016

PNG police flown into Hela following land dispute

6:18 am on 11 August 2016

A team of police from Papua New Guinea's capital has been flown to Hela province in the Highlands in response to a landowner blockade of the LNG project.

The newspaper, The National, reports that the project's Hides gas conditioning plant in Hela remains locked by landowners protesting that the Government and project developer haven't honoured royalty commitments.

Two hundred fifty LNG shipments have been made since the project started exports two years ago.

Landowners have threatened to shut down the entire project if outstanding royalties aren't paid by next week.

Hela provincial police commander Michael Welli said the reinforcements from Port Moresby were to help Hela police bolster security at the project site

Mr Welli said he could not disclose the number of additional troops.

But he said that the situation is under control in Hides, with landowners expecting the acting Secretary for Department of Petroleum and Energy David Manau to meet with them soon to discuss a way forward.

On Tuesday, the Minister of Petroleum and Energy Nixon Duban said delays in royalty payments to landowners in the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) Project area of Hela province are due to complications over identifying genuine landowners.