By PATRICK TALU
SECURITY concerns in Papua New Guinea are undermining potential Japanese investment in liquefied natural gas, The National reports.
This was revealed by an investor who is in the country to get an update on his company’s investment here and to gather more information on the ongoing LNG project.
Requesting not to be named, the investor said Japan had an immediate need for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and PNG was being considered a major supplier of clean energy.
He said his country would have enough supply of LNG in light of the two huge multi-billion clean energy projects to be operated by ExxonMObil and InterOil Corp.
The source said Japan imported clean energy from the Middle East and African countries but due to current crisis in those countries, PNG appears to be a potential supplier that could play a dominant role in the energy market.
He said PNG had “world class LNG projects” underway which could compete with those in Australia.
However, he said: “PNG’s potential as supplier has been undermined by the ongoing security issues and non-conducive climate for investment.
“Japanese investors want to invest in the energy sector but the country’s security issues made us hesitant to do so.
“We have already existing investments in various sectors here as well as in the current PNG LNG project through joint venture partnerships and other direct investments.
“We would like to invest more in other sectors like mining but we would very much need security guarantee for our money,” he said.
He also pointed out that PNG is rich in natural resources but managing and distributing the wealth to Papua New Guineans was another thing.
The Japanese investor stressed that the current activities pertaining to Hides 4 PDL7 LNG plant site, the Juni Technical Collage, Kombolu Camp dispute, Kaiam incident and unending landowners’ demands for fulfillment of government commitments to landowners were being closely watched by international investors.
He said it was of paramount importance that necessary measures were taken seriously to safeguard major projects that would help transform PNG into a robust economy.