The annual PNG LNG Environmental and Social Report was released on 9 June 2021 and provides a progress update on production activities from 1 January to 31 December 2020.
In 2020, the Papua New Guinea Liquefied Natural Gas (PNG LNG) Project recorded its highest production and best safety performance since operations began, despite challenges created by COVID-19.
ExxonMobil PNG’s outgoing Managing Director, Andrew Barry, noted that despite multiple COVID-19 challenges, EMPNG’s team achieved record LNG production levels, delivering the company’s best safety performance since production commenced while continuing to meet environmental and social commitments.
“EMPNG has completed over 70 million hours of work since production began and had no Lost Time Incidents for more than three-years, with no significant process safety events for almost seven-years.
A significant milestone was achieved on 1 September with EMPNG’s first shift fully managed and operated by qualified Papua New Guinean workers. This included the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant and Pipeline Operations Supervisors, and Control Room, Field and Pipeline Technicians,” Mr Barry said.
By the end of 2020, the PNG LNG workforce consisted of 2,784 employees and contractors. This was reduced from 3,964 workers at the end of 2019 due to the suspension of some Upstream area projects as a result of travel and workplace restrictions caused by the pandemic. Papua New Guinean citizens comprise 91 percent of the total PNG LNG Project workforce.
Through contributions, sponsorships, in-kind support and community-based projects during 2020, EMPNG invested PGK8.4 million (USD2.4 million) in local communities. This included renewing the PNG LNG Project’s contract with ANU Enterprise Proprietary Limited to continue the Community Livelihood Improvement Project (CLIP), which began in 2015. CLIP is helping to provide financial independence and improve standards of living for communities in Hides, Juni, Nogoli, Angore and Komo through training and support in areas such as nutrition, financial literacy and farming techniques.
2020 also saw the completion of the five-year Head Start Conservation Program funded by EMPNG and coordinated by the Port Moresby Nature Park. The program involved raising some 45 Piku turtle eggs at the Nature Park, which were rescued from Wau Creek in the Lower Kikori region, with the intention of returning them back to the creek as adult turtles to increase their chance of survival. In August 2019, the first 15 turtles from the program were released back into the wild, with the remaining turtles returned to their original home at Wau Creek last year.
More than 5,400 community engagements were conducted in 2020, with almost 2,000 formal and some 3,400 informal engagements with 36,650 stakeholders. Community engagements were undertaken in accordance with COVID-19 safe practices and most of the engagements regarded raising awareness about COVID-19.
Additionally, a further PGK57.4 million (USD16.4 million) was invested in local infrastructure through infrastructure tax credit projects. More than PGK10 billion (USD2.9 billion) has also been invested in community initiatives and local infrastructure since construction began.
Looking back on 2020 ExxonMobil PNG’s new Managing Director, Peter Larden, thanked his predecessor Andrew Barry for his tremendous leadership over the last six years which has left a fantastic legacy.
“I look forward to building upon the standards he and EMPNG have set to further cement PNG’s reputation as a world class LNG producer and to be able contribute in a sustainable and meaningful way to enhancing the communities in which we operate and the nation of PNG,” Larden said.
The next report will be published in 2022.