By MALUM NALU
Petroleum and Energy Minister William Duma says he is very impressed with the progress of work on the PNG LNG project, despite the numerous problems encountered by developer Esso Highlands, The National reports.
Duma, a key state player for the project right from the beginning, gave the thumbs-up after visiting the massive multi-billion liquefaction and storage facility site outside Port Moresby last Friday.
|Duma (left) with Graham on the observation deck of the project site last Friday.-Nationalpic by MALUM NALU|
Full construction commenced in 2010, following the final investment decision (FID), of December 8, 2009.
Duma was told by senior Esso Highlands executives, including managing director Peter Graham that the plant was on target and on track to be completed in early 2014, in time for first exports later that year.
The statistics of the 16km perimeter project, which currently employs over 8,000 people from all over the world, are mind-boggling.
It is the final stage of a 700km-plus journey from Hides and Angore (Southern Highlands), and Juha (Western).
The main component of the project is construction of the two massive trains, which super cool the gas to a temperature of minus 272 degrees Celsius before moving them to the two mammoth tanks, which in turn move the liquid gas to waiting ships at sea for export.
"More than what I expected," an impressed Duma said.
The PNG LNG project - the biggest development in Papua New Guinea’s history - is well into accomplishing many components after two years in the construction phase.
The 3.2km long Komo airfield in Southern Highlands - which will be longer than Port Moresby’s 2.8km long Jackson Airport - has now completed 50% of earthworks to lay the foundation, with the runway aggregate base course pavement commencing.
The completion of Komo would allow the Hides gas conditioning plant to complete construction.
The Komo airfield would be used to transport huge pieces of equipment to complete the conditioning plant.
More than 100km of 300km of the onshore pipeline between the gas fields and Kopi in Gulf province had been completed, while laying of the 400km offshore pipeline between Kopi and Port Moresby was proceeding was expected to be completed by the end of this month.
“I’ve been pushing for this project right from the beginning and I’m pleased to see that everything is on target,” Duma said.
“This includes the gas agreement, which was negotiated from 2007-2008 with signing in May 2008,
“Licence-based benefits sharing agreement (LBBSA) was negotiated from 2008-2009.
“Benefits sharing agreement (BSA) was signed in May 2009 and umbrella benefits sharing agreement (UBSA) thereafter in December 2009.”