FINAL NEGOTIATIONS FOR PNG GAS PROJECT BENEFIT SHARING

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Minister says all of PNG will benefit from project

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, May 4, 2009) – Detailed negotiations will start today on finalisation of a benefits sharing agreement (BSA) involving landowners, provincial governments and local level governments for the historic PNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.

Petroleum and Energy Minister William Duma said yesterday: "I wish to reiterate that all parties – landowners from the four provinces, the provincial governments, LLGs and the National Government – depend on each other for this project to succeed.

"Their goodwill and generosity in these BSA negotiations will also provide a framework for all Papua New Guineans to benefit through additional revenue flows to the National Government.

"We have world-class and innovative legislation in place that could be a model for other resource-rich developing countries.

"These legislations provide for direct benefits to landowners and other stakeholders and clearly define a 20 percent cap on net benefits to direct beneficiaries.

"The remaining 80 percent of net national benefits will go to the 99 percent of our six million people who live outside the project areas," Mr. Duma said.

"Some of the 80 percent net gains will be redistributed by the National Government to the four provinces impacted by this project as well as to all other provinces.

"We have quantified that about K16 billion will flow to landowners and other stakeholders in the four provinces."

Duma said technical experts from the Department of Petroleum and Energy, the gas office, Treasury and other departments had drawn up a package of benefits with the aim of achieving fairness and equity for everyone.

"Details of this package are the subject of negotiations in Kokopo over the next few days."

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

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