Esso Highlands Ltd today confirmed that work remains temporarily suspended in the Hides area of Southern Highlands due to unlawful activities undertaken by some members of the local community and while disruptive, the project is on track for first gas in 2014.
“Work is continuing in other areas of the PNG LNG project,” spokesperson Rebecca Arnold said today in reponse to today’s front page report in The National newspaper.
“The government and Esso Highlands Ltd are engaged with the community leaders to understand and attempt to resolve the issues so that construction can recommence.
“The project encourages continued dialogue between communities, the government and the project to address issues as they arise, without impact to ongoing project activities.
“Esso Highlands Ltd, with the government, has taken steps to engage with the group in question to understand their issues.
“It is disappointing that the group continues to halt work on the project.
“The project has not evacuated workers from the Hides area.
“Work in the Hides area has been stopped for some time now by this unlawful activity, and some workers have been demobilised from the area because they are unable to work.
“While work stoppage actions are disruptive, we remain on track for first gas in 2014.
“The benefits that flow from the project will have a broad, positive impact on the country, and it is important that the project is completed on time.”