GAS

PNG landowners threaten gas cut

LOCAL landowners have threatened to shut down supply from the Hides gas project in PNG's Southern Highlands Province to the Porgera gold mine if the government does not allocate 20 million kina ($US6.7 million) to fund development projects.

PNG landowners threaten gas cut

"We are giving the national government seven days as of today to find 20 million kina to fund ongoing memorandum of agreement projects at Hides," the Post-Courier newspaper quoted them as saying on May 29.

"We are not against the project and the developers. We are just fed up with the continuous neglect of government agencies on the processes involved [in] releasing funds for projects."

They also accused Department of Petroleum and Energy Secretary Randal Rimua of authorising the release of K8 million to companies that did not have proper track records in carrying out infrastructure development projects in the Hides gas field and surrounding areas.

In a letter to Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, they claimed that Rimua's actions were also contrary to the Hiwa Tuguba Hides compromise agreement and urged him to sack the energy secretary.

The DPE claimed that the decision to pay companies was made by the Expenditure Implementation Committee.

"The DPE only facilitates the payment and we do not collaborate with the EIC. The 8 million kina was paid as per approval by the EIC," said a DPE spokesman.

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