The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea (PNG), Peter O’Neill symbolically turned on the tap for the PNG Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) today at the LNG storage site at Papa area, in the Central province at around 1 pm (PNG time), under a bright sunny day.

The event was witnessed by a high level delegation consisting of parliamentary leaders of LNG based provinces including Hela, Southern Highlands, Central province and the media.

“Today marks a historical event in the history of Papua New Guinea where we show the rest of the world that we are capable of developing a world class project like this.

“This is such a remarkable achievement that we all should be proud of.

“In 2007 we signed the project, it took a lot of commitment and determination and I must thank all of you present here today and the rest of the Papua New Guineans for the successful outcome of the PNG LNG project

“Our economy is growing at 8 percent per annum. The LNG revenue will further boost the growth of our economy” O’Neill said.

O’Neil thanked Peter Graham, the managing director of ExxonMobil (33.2%) and the co-venture partners, Oil Search (29.0%), Santos (13.5%), Nippon Oil/JPP 4.7% and the State Participants (19.6%) for successfully seeing the project from inception to export stage.

Peter Graham also commended the effort of the O’Neil Dion government and the co-venture partners for the successful completion of the project.

Hela Spirit, the vessel that will carry the first PNG LNG cargo to Japan is already docked at the project site, ready for the loading of the first LNG cargo.

Rebecca Arnold, the lead media and communications adviser of ExxonMobil PNG limited told PNG Loop that Hela spirit has capacity for 177,000 cubic metres of gas, which could mean that the amount of first LNG cargo to be exported would be 177, 00 cubic meters gas.

The monetary value of the first shipment of gas is being kept confidential between ExxonMobil and the buyer.

Rebecca also told PNG Loop that exact date for the departure of the Hela Spirit from the shores of PNG will be made known in due course.