By ISAAC NICHOLAS
VANIMO town in West Sepik province will be the focal point of development in relation to the Frieda River copper-gold project, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced on Wednesday, The National reports.
O’Neill said the government would be talking with developer Xstrada to relocate the project to the township of Vanimo.
Speaking at Vanimo on Wednesday, he said the country’s economy would double and even triple over the next few years with major resource projects coming on stream.
He said the government would like to see host provinces taking ownership of major projects and to equally benefit from other spin-off business activities and employment opportunities.
O’Neill said Frieda River project was in Sandaun and rightfully so Vanimo should be the project capital.
He said PNG would get two LNG projects: one to start production in 2014 was in Southern Highlands and the second LNG project would be in Gulf province.
The government had asked that the project be based in that province and not Port Moresby.
“In the same way, we will relocate Frieda project operations to Vanimo because Wewak, Madang and Lae have already developed,” he said.
“In the same vein, we the government through Petroleum and Energy will be meeting with Frieda mine developers to relocate the project to Vanimo.”
When the LNG project begins in 2014, the economy would double from K10 billion budget this year to about K20 billion, he said.
“If we cannot manage K10 billion, how can we manage K20 billion?” he said.
“And that is why we need good quality leaders who have the country at heart to manage the huge revenue inflow.”
He said the second LNG project would come on stream and mining at Wafi, Bulolo, Yandera, re-opening of Bougainville, extension on Ok Tedi and Lihir would further increase economic growth.