Simon Keslep | Post Courier | October 30, 2018
The Paguale Kekero Resources Landowners Association of Southern Highlands province has raised their concerns regarding benefits of the Liquefied Natural Gas project.
Yesterday association general sectary Paul Kewai Ipakasa and chairman Simon Kayako told Post-Courier their people especially 11 major clans including a total population of over two thousand people are left in the dark on LNG project benefits (royalty and equity payment).
They were referring to statements by Mineral Resource Development Company managing director Augustine Mano and published by this paper last week (October 25, page 20) “PNG LNG pipeline landowners to receive benefits-MRDC.”
The two raised concerns on issues regarding no agreement signed by them under the Umbrella Benefits Sharing Agreement despite gas pipelines under the Greenfield and future generation’s benefits without guarantee.
“Since 2009 till now there were no agreements under Umbrella Benefits Sharing Agreement despite having gas pipeline passing through our land,” said Mr Ipakasa.
According to Mr Ipakasa they come under segment 4 and spin-off benefits for their future generations remains uncertain.
The two called upon MRDC to consider their issue and put business agreements in order especially to fully benefit landowners whose land has gas pipelines passing through.
In relation to Mr Mano’s comments in the article referred to, he explained that while the pipeline determinations have already been made by the minister in reference to the onshore 300 kilometres of the entire 400 km pipeline, those areas not in dispute are being processed and assisted for the flow of benefits.
“There are eight (pipeline) segments which ministerial determination has been made for those areas where there are no disputes.”
“These are the ones we are going to proceed with their preparations of opening up their account, appointment of their board and then start making payments,” Mr Mano said in the report.
He made comments in a previous interview that for upstream pipeline landowners it has been a huge obstacle and that MRDC was aware of landowner frustration, however, mentioned that the areas that are still in dispute will be overlooked and carry on with the ones that are not in dispute pending their outcomes.