Marape: Government will review and transfer project from gas to electricity
BY JEFFREY ELAPA
Prime Minister James Marape said government officials would review the Hides PDL 1 benefit-sharing agreements for the gas-to-power project to eventually withdraw the transfer of the project to landowners and the provincial government.
He said this while answering questions from Komo-Magarima MP Maneseh Makiba in Parliament yesterday regarding the Hides gas to power project which starts from Hides PDL 1 and supplies electricity to the Porgera gold mine in Enga province.
Mr. Makiba wanted to know if the government was considering acquiring the project from the operator (Oil Search) at a time when Porgera’s new mining agreement continued and having the project handed over to landowners and the provincial government of Hela, as stipulated in Section 9.6 of the PDL 1 License Based Benefit Sharing Agreement (LBBSA).
Under the agreement, the provincial government and the landowners are supposed to own 50-50 of the project.
In response, Marape said the government’s position was clear and that it was about the people getting maximum benefit from their resources.
He said that the clause mentioned by the member (section 9.6) of the LBBSA was the last agreement, whereas there was an original clause in the agreement which stated that after 10 years of operation since 1990, the project should be transferred to the owners but this had not happened until the signing of the PNG LNG agreement.
Mr Marape said he would ask government officials to look into it and see if there is a provision under this clause for the project to be handed over to the people.
He said that under the current PNG LNG there was also a small provision for DMO to access additional gas from the current site.
“We are looking to work in a gas power access program from the current gas project to supply the highland provinces and supplement the power supply from the Yonki hydropower station,” Mr. Marape.
“But let me assure the landowners and the provincial government that the clause is already there, so it’s just a matter of linking the instruments and working on a transfer under the LBBSA clause.
“It’s exceptional, so we’re going to take a look at it and hopefully the national government will put a stop to it,” Mr Marape said.