PNG LNG COMPANY FACES DEREGISTRATION

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Largest equity holder fails to submit annual reports

By Mohammad Bashir PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Mar. 18, 2010) - The company holding Papua New Guinea (PNG) government’s largest on-shore equity in the multi-billion-kina Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project has been marked it could be deregistered for failing to submit its annual returns.

Kroton No2 Limited is a company under the Independent Public Business Commission (IPBC) and holds 16.6 percent shares in the LNG project for the Government.

In a paid advertisement spread over 10 pages, Registrar of Companies Ivan Pomaleu acting in pursuance to section 368(1) of the Companies Act stated that unless he is satisfied by April 19 that returns were submitted and formed part of the registered document, he would remove them including Kroton No2 Ltd.

IPBC however expressed surprise that Kroton No2 Ltd which was recently registered and has not passed the mandatory 18 months to furnish its annual returns has been put on notice.

"Yes we are surprised. We should not be on the list. Kroton No 2 Ltd is a recently registered company and as such has 18 months in which to furnish its first annual report.

"We have not reached that time frame as yet. We are advising the Registrar of Companies that this should be the case," IPBC’s public affairs boss Brian Gomez said when contacted.

Investment Promotions Authority (IPA) records nevertheless indicate that Kroton No2 Ltd was incorporated on June 20, 2008 and is just over 19 months old, a month behind in submitting its annual returns.

Kroton No2 Ltd was among more than 600 companies given notice for deregistration by April 20, 2010 for failing to submit annual returns under Section 366(1)(f) of the Companies Act.

The registrar stated in his notice that the companies concerned were at least six months late in submitting their annual returns.

Kroton No2 Ltd holds 16.6 percent in the PNG LNG project while the other PNG direct equity stakes are Mineral Resources Development Corporation (MRDC), on behalf of landholders 2.8 percent and Petromin’s subsidiary, Eda Oil 0.2 percent.

Those equity stakes bring the total PNG stake in the project to 19.6 percent.

Attempts to get comments from Kroton No2 Ltd’s shareholder Ian Ray Sheppard and secretary Moses Samboro Koiri were unsuccessful while director Glen Robert Blake is reportedly operating from Brisbane.

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