Friday 08 Oct 2021 | 08:20 | SYDNEY
Friday 08 Oct 2021 | 08:20 | SYDNEY

PNG: Japan back in the game


Jenny Hayward-Jones


21 October 2009 16:19

While China is increasingly perceived to be the major Asian player in the Pacific Islands region, Japan's interests in the region should not be forgotten. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) last week signed a memorandum of understanding with the PNG Government to support the development of the much anticipated multi-billion dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.

According to PNG's State Enterprises Minister, Arthur Somare, Japan will help fund the PNG government's equity in the project and has agreed to buy half of the LNG once the project is completed. With US$3 billion of the PNG government's equity in the LNG project, JBIC willl be PNG's largest financier. Japanese companies Nippon Oil Corp and Chiyoda Corp also have financial interests in the project.

While the final decision on the LNG investment by Exxon Mobil and partners is not due until December, PNG is already counting the benefits. This commitment by the JBIC will do much to increase Japan's profile in PNG. It also won't hurt to remind PNG and the region that Beijing is not the only player from 'the north' happy to do business with Pacific Islands.

Photo by Flickr user Mike at Sea, used under a Creative Commons license.