SYDNEY – The first cargo of liquefied natural gas from Papua New Guinea was headed for Japan on Monday, marking the first time LNG has been imported from the South Pacific nation as Japan deals with a nationwide atomic power shutdown.
The first shipment, which will provide fuel for the thermal power plants run by Tokyo Electric Power Co., is expected to arrive in early June, according to JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp.
“This announcement is a historic moment for Papua New Guinea,” ExxonMobil PNG Ltd. Managing Director Peter Graham said in a statement, adding that the venture is the country’s largest resource project.
“This project has brought significant economic benefits to our country that will last for generations to come,” PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said in the same statement.
Revenue from the LNG project is expected to be used to support continued economic and social development in the country. The $19 billion project, over its estimated 30-year life, will produce more than 9 trillion cu. feet of gas and provide long-term energy for Tepco, as the utility is known, as well as Osaka Gas Co., China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. and CPC Corp. Taiwan.
It’s an integrated development that includes gas production and processing facilities in Hela as well as the provinces of Southern Highlands, Western, Gulf and Central. More than 700 km of pipeline connect the facilities, including a gas conditioning plant in Hides and liquefaction and storage facilities near the capital, Port Moresby, with capacity of 6.9 million tons per year.
According to ExxonMobil over $4.2 billion has been spent in Papua New Guinea to bring about the project, which has entailed the training of more than 10,000 locals for construction and operation roles.