Troops to guard PNG LNG sites: report

LANDOWNER disruptions at PNG LNG project sites in the Southern Highlands could reportedly force the Papua New Guinean government to deploy troops into the province.
Troops to guard PNG LNG sites: report Troops to guard PNG LNG sites: report Troops to guard PNG LNG sites: report Troops to guard PNG LNG sites: report Troops to guard PNG LNG sites: report

Reports surfaced a week ago that project work was suspended in the Hides area as a landowner group threatened PNG LNG workers and implemented an illegal stop-work campaign.

According to The National, Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said the National Executive Council would today consider various measures to overcome the security issues facing the PNG LNG joint venture in the Hides area.

These reportedly include a possible declaration of a state of emergency in the province along with the deployment of PNG Defence Force soldiers and additional police.

A "source" also made some startling claims to the PNG newspaper.

The source said project workers at Hides area sites were being evacuated in chartered aircraft yesterday and predicted "it would be the end of the project if the closure continued this week".

An ExxonMobil spokesperson is preparing a statement to counter some of these sensational claims.

The landowner group involved has reportedly demanded 99 million kina ($A44.37 million) of compensation from ExxonMobil for various project activities in the Hides area.

Upgrades to the Hides-Komo road - which was cut off by a devastating landslide earlier this year - and to a local health centre and community school building are other reported demands.

Hides 4 Landowner Umbrella Association chairman Chris Payabe told the newspaper that the PNG LNG project would remain closed in the area if its demands were not addressed.

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