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US$12 Billion Papua LNG Project on target, Says PNG PM

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape assures that the US$12 billion Papua LNG Project is on target for Final Investment Decision (FID) and construction in 2024 after his meeting with the Head of TotalEnergies in Paris, France.

This announcement came after a successful meeting with TotalEnergies’ Chairman and CEO, Patrick Jean Pouyanne, marking the conclusion of his three-nation tour encompassing Israel, Indonesia, and France.

"Mr. Pouyanne assured me that the US$12 billion Papua LNG Project is on course to commence construction next year, following the FID, which will constitute a substantial boom to our economy," Prime Minister Marape asserted.

Drawing a parallel with the previous PNG LNG project, he further stated, "The construction phase of PNG LNG cost US$19 billion (K66 billion). We anticipate a similarly transformative impact on our economy with Papua LNG as construction activities gain momentum."

Prime Minister Marape highlighted the historical economic growth generated by the previous LNG project, noting, "Our records show GDP increased from K31.5 billion in 2008 to K47.7 billion in 2013 due to the PNG LNG project. We anticipate a similar trajectory for Papua LNG starting from 2024 onwards."

He announced the significant progress taking place from Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) to soon to be construction phase, stating, "These phases are pivotal as they will create employment opportunities, enhance the skills of our local workforce, bolster revenue streams, and contribute to foreign exchange reserves, all in support of our national economy."

Expressing gratitude to TotalEnergies and joint venture partners for their dedication to the project, Prime Minister Marape affirmed the government's unwavering support for the project. He committed to providing comprehensive support across all sectors to ensure the timely progress of the project, with a target of achieving first gas production in 2027.

"We are fully committed to expediting the process, including social mapping, landowner studies, and the expansion of opportunities for local businesses to thrive," Prime Minister Marape declared.

He issued a directive to the ministers for education and higher education, urging them to initiate training programmes for 5,000 individuals, including those from Gulf, Karamui in Chimbu, Okapa in Eastern Highlands, and other Grade 12 school leavers from Papua New Guinea. These programmes will focus on skills such as welding, plumbing, carpentry, cooking, and industrial assistance, aligning with the workforce requirements during the forthcoming Papua LNG construction phase.

"Our existing technical colleges in Lae, Madang, Goroka, Mt Hagen, Port Moresby, Kokopo, and other locations will be utilised for short-term courses in November, December, and January, taking advantage of campus vacancies during this period," Prime Minister Marape explained.

“The government's proactive approach and strong commitment to the Papua LNG Project reflect our dedication to fostering economic growth and providing opportunities for our citizens.”

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