THE National Executive Council yesterday directed Deputy Prime Minister and Works Minister and national planning committee chairman Sam Abal to be the government’s focal point for settling all outstanding issues relating to the PNG LNG project, The National reports.
Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare issued the directive following a briefing yesterday morning by Abal and senior cabinet minsiters and party leaders who are members of the planning committee.
Developer ExxonMobil were also summoned to provide an update regarding the temporary work closure of the Hides 4 conditional plant site early this week.
In assuring the developer ExxonMobil and operator Esso Highlands, Sir Michael reaffirmed that the PNG economy and the future of the people depend on the prject and that the government had got a handle on it.
Both the government and the people, particurlarly the landowners were committed to see its first LNG cargo leave its shores in 2014.
The landowner matters and issues are in-house matters and the government will move to settle it.
Meanwhile, chairman of Hides Gas Development Coporation (HGDC) Libe Parinali was the first to thank Sir Michael in appointing Abal to handle LNG matters.
“We will be working with Sam Abal as it is welcome news and we look forward to progerssing the LNG project.”
“The task now is to streamline the government operations and processes so that our joint venture development partners, financers, customers, people of PNG and most importantly resource owners know the point of contact.
Sir Michael said the key ministerial economic and social sector committees including the ministerial gas project committee were also members of the national planning committee.
In a further directive, the NEC instructed that all outstanding MoA funds relating oil monies owing to landowners companies to be paid as soon as possible.
Other isses pertaining to appropriations such as minsiterial commitments made during the UBSA and LBSA process of negotiations has also been directed for immediate settlement.