On the 6th of July, 2023, Petroleum & Energy Minister Hon. Kerenga Kua, officially signed the Memorandum of Approval for transfer; of a 2.58% equity share from the operator of the Papua LNG project TotalEnergies EP PNG (TEP PNG) to JX Nippon Oil & Gas Corporation.
Witnessed by the joint venture partners of the Papua LNG project,, as well as State agency representatives and the visiting delegates from JX Nippon, Minister Kua described the event as a major milestone for the Project.
He added that for the Government and the people of this country, this achievement was and is confirmation that we still enjoy the faith of our international partners and investors as a potential investment destination.
“It’s more than having a partner joining our Project: it’s a very big statement to the international investment community that, they can look at what JX Nippon is doing and follow suit,” stated the Minister.
“The Government of Papua New Guinea stand fully behind this Project, we have supported the operator TotalEnergies to do what they have to do, to move this Project forward through the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) phase and eventually Final Investment Decision (FID),” he added.
Sharing the Minister’s sentiments, Senior Vice President for TotalEnergies Asia Pacific Mr Julien Pouget, noted that the transfer was a way to harmonise the participating interests in the Papua LNG and the PNG LNG projects.
“We are not only welcoming JX Nippon into the Papua LNG project, but through JX, we are welcoming Japan,” he said.
“It’s a very important milestone in the Project and a good basis to progress marketing, with Japanese buyers and to progress financing from Japanese financiers,” he added.
“PNG is not only gifted with excellent natural resources, but is also extremely well positioned to take advantage and contribute to the energy transition in the Asia-Pacific region. PNG gas will replace coal, with a very positive impact on the planet,” he explained.
Mr Pouget concluded his remarks by thanking the JV partners, Minister Kua and the Department of Petroleum for their support and encouragement.
Senior Vice President for JX Nippon Mr Hideo Kondo, affirmed the long-standing relationship between Japan and PNG, which is built on mutual trust, respect and compliance.
“Energy security, especially in relation to LNG, is a key issue of Japan and we are now very excited and honoured to be a part of the second LNG project in PNG. We believe JX participation, will further strengthen the relationship between both countries,” said Mr Kondo.
JX has been actively involved in PNG since 1990 and will continue to work closely with the PNG government and partners, to ensure the Papua LNG project delivers long-term benefits, to key stakeholders and most importantly to the people and nation of PNG.
TEP PNG Acting Managing Director Mr Sang Ratnam acknowledged the continuous support of the Government of PNG and various state agencies in realizing this transfer in record time and further asserted that the Minister’s approval today is once again a testament to the strong support the Government has for the Papua LNG project.