Prime Minister Urges Gulf Residents to Prepare for Major LNG Projects

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape today called on the residents of Gulf Province to prepare to supply goods and services to the forthcoming Papua LNG Project and the Wildebeest LNG Project. The focus will be on local agriculture and fisheries for food supplies, forestry for timber, and tourism to accommodate the surge of workers and visitors expected.

During the opening of the Kerema District SME and Women’s Micro Bank branch, the Prime Minister highlighted the economic opportunities these projects are set to bring. He announced a funding of K3 million to initiate the SME project and an additional K10 million granted to the Kerema District Development Authority (DDA) for enhancements at the Kerema Airport.

Prime Minister Marape disclosed the Cabinet’s decision to appoint Augustine Mano, the Managing-Director of the Mineral Resources Development Company, as the Chairman of the Gulf Provincial Health Authority (PHA).

“Papua LNG will materialise in the next two to three years,” stated Prime Minister Marape. He outlined the construction phases set to span from 2026 through 2028, expressing eagerness for ExxonMobil to expand exploration at Wildebeest, located just north of Kerema, potentially the largest LNG resource in the nation.

The Prime Minister called upon Gulf Governor Hon. Chris Haiveta, Kerema MP Hon. Thomas Opa, and Kikori MP Hon. Soroi Eoe to begin provincial developments in anticipation of these transformative projects.

“I envisage food from our Gulf being directly supplied to these projects,” he emphasised. He also noted ongoing discussions with Governor Haiveta on developing ports in strategic locations like Kerema, Ihu, Paia, and Kikori to bolster logistics.

Prime Minister Marape also remarked on recent Cabinet approvals, including a contract over K150 million to pave the section from Laloki River to Brown River along the Hiritano Highway, a crucial artery for the region. The next phase of development will extend from Bereina to Malalaua.

“The Hiritano Highway is more than a roadway; it is an economic  lifeline linking Central, Gulf, and Morobe to the heart of the country and pivotal LNG projects,” he explained.

Prime Minister Marape reassured the people of Kerema and the broader Gulf community of their integral role in this national development, stating, “You are not forgotten.”