PNG LANDOWNER COMPANY FORMED TO WORK WITH EXXON

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Energy corporation defines ‘rules of engagement’ with local businesses

By Isaac Nicholas PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Jan. 27, 2010) - Energy giant ExxonMobil has laid out the rules of engagement for successful business and sustainability of landowner companies involved in the multi billion LNG project.

ExxonMobil business development manager, Frank Pani, said landowner companies must be properly registered and launched to be recognized by ExxonMobil and Oil Search.

Mr. Pani said this at the launch of a new landowner company, Moran Ina Naga Ltd, in a colorful ceremony featuring Huli wigmen at Holiday Inn in Port Moresby yesterday.

He also called on the people to throw away guns, bush knives, bows and arrows and drugs and cooperate and work together with the project developers for better living conditions.

Pani said ExxonMobil’s business development plan was aimed at helping landowner companies to grow successfully.

"Landowner companies must have strong boardrooms and directors. They must also have strong constitution, with two to three-year terms for directors because once directors’ terms go 10-15 years, things are bound to go wrong," he said.

Pani said the board must also consist of one or two independent directors for checks and balances and regular election of board of directors.

"Landowner companies need to invest money on non-project related areas for sustainability.

"They can also invest in areas like agriculture, buying into cocoa plantations, oil palm and coconut which will sustain them once the non-renewable resource is depleted," he said.

Pani said ExxonMobil was already helping landowner companies by paying for their school fees to attend business management school for company directors in Port Moresby.

Moran Ina Naga Ltd interim chairman, Tony Kila, said the company was established to represent all the Moran area people in business development activities.

He also called on the Government to fast-track the K6 million seed capital promised for start-up.

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