Russian major targets PNG gas resources
Rusal, a top three global aluminium producer, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Papua New Guinean Government, represented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, to jointly explore the potential for energy and aluminium developments in Papua New Guinea (PNG), based on the country’s natural gas resources.
In accordance with the memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed in PNG by the Acting Minister for Petroleum and Energy, Hon. William Duma and, for Rusal, Chairman, Rusal Australia, John Hannagan, the parties will establish the framework for an ongoing discussion on possible utilisation of PNG's gas resources for potential Rusal operations in the region.This move is part of Rusal’s strategy to transform into an energy and metals corporation, embracing both aluminium smelting and energy generation. The company has been actively pursuing opportunities to produce globally competitive electric power required for the operation of aluminium smelters. Possessing large gas resources, PNG is currently implementing a policy that it hopes will encourage the development of a whole natural gas industry value chain in the the country, from exploration to value-added activities. According to Rusal, PNG has great potential as a possible base for an energy-intensive mineral processing industry, such as aluminium smelting.Both Rusal and the PNG Government have agreed to the possible set-up of a joint working group to evaluate and take forward specific proposals submitted by Rusal.In June of last year, a similar power projects working group was established with the Queensland Government, where Rusal currently has alumina operations.