Monday, September 13, 2010

Outsiders warned to stay away from LNG wastes



A LANDOWNER company from the LNG project area in Southern Highlands is up in arms over the recent announcement of a new joint venture to manage wastes in the project area, The National reports.

Chairman of Hides Waste Management Company (HWMC) Thomas Potape had written to Esso Highlands Ltd warning of possible disturbances if project landowners were bypassed in spin-off businesses.

He said the HWMC is a legitimate landowner company, sanctioned by the Hides Gas Development Company (HGDC), to participate in spin-offs from the LNG project.

Potape said HWMC is registered with IPA and is in advanced stage of permit application with the Department of Environment and Conservation to be involved in waste treatment and disposal activities in Hides PDL 1, Hides PDL 7, Angore and Juha.

Potape said the four major LNG gasfields are located within the geographical boundaries of Komo with a population of 27,000 people.

He said the early works, including the Komo International Airport, major roads from Tari to Komo and from gasfields to Komo station and construction phase of LNG facilities, had started and there was evidence of huge volumes of wastes being generated.

“The local people, who have lived generations in these beautifully pristine environments, are not used to large volumes of wastes in all forms which will be created by a project of this scale, which will seriously affect their lifestyles.

“As a local landowner company, HWMC must be recognised by Esso Highlands to be involved in project spin-off activities as outlined in the national content plan.

“We have reputable overseas joint venture partners who are well placed to enable HWMC vision of waste management in the project areas.

“We have the capacity, the partners and technological know-how to realise our vision, and we believe Esso Highlands and its partners will have to take note of our intentions,” Potape added.

“We will be spending more than K7.5 million for the purpose of contending the environmental effects that may occur as a result of the developments at the LNG project fields and the surrounding communities.”

He said this would include the costs of construction of landfills and other waste treatment plants, storage facilities and other equipment and materials required to effectively manage all waste streams that would be created.

“It is important to note that early works have started with huge volumes of wastes to be produced daily.”

Potape said environmental approvals, which had been granted for early works activities, were conditional to the project developer following approved waste management practices.

“To date, there is no proper permitted company associated with the project to effectively deal with waste management and, as such, our proposed set-up will have to be recognised and considered by the proponent of the LNG project.”

He said recent media reports of Eco Care Engineering and Transpacific, a waste management joint venture, was an attempt by outsiders using their contacts in Oil Search to sideline legitimate landowner companies.

“As there is already an existing HWMC, under no uncertain terms an outside company will be allowed into the project areas of Hides PDL 1, Hides PDL 7, Angore, Juha airport facility and Hides conditioning plant area.” Potape warned.

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