By Peter S. Kinjap in Port Moresby
Disgruntled landowners of the Papua New Guinea LNG (liquefied natural gas) Project have shut it down after the government was unable to pay outstanding royalties.
Landowner groups claim the government have not paid them for 20 shipments of LNG exports and are awaiting the amount that is due.
They had previously presented a notice to ExxonMobil, the operators of PNG LNG, at the gas conditioning plant site in the Hela province. The notice asked the government to respond to the overdue payments within seven days.
But the lapse of a week without a good response has seen landowners lock down the main gates of the hides gas conditioning plant.
An issued warning has been directed to ExxonMobil to shut down immediately.
The group have cut down trees to block off the roads and stop the movement of vehicles to the project site.
A chief in Komo within the Hela province, who wants to remain anonymous, said he warned police that they are fully armed and stand ready to confront any security personal that comes around.
They have built a shell house and told ExxonMobil that the gate will not open until the PM arrives with the money they are owed.