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PNG LNG airfield complete

LNG Industry,

As part of the Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas (PNG LNG) project, the Komo airfield is now complete and has welcomed the first landing of an Antonov AH-124-100 aircraft.

Over 9 trillion ft3 of gas and 200 million bbls of associated liquids are expected to be produced over the project’s lifetime, with more than 700 km (450 miles) of pipeline connecting the facilities. Operated by Esso Highlands Ltd, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corp., the gas will be sourced from the Hides, Angore and Juha gas fields as well as associated regions – Kutubu, Agogo, Moran and Gobe.

The construction of the airfield will provide a gateway for large equipment to be transported to the Hides gas conditioning plant that will treat the natural gas and condensate. The Antonov-124 cargo aircraft that made the airfield’s maiden flight will now be used to deliver the large equipment required for the operation of the plant. About 70 trips in total will be required to transport the equipment.

The PNG LNG consortium consists of seven different companies including ExxonMobil, Oil Search, state-owned National Petroleum Company of PNG, Santos, JX Nippon, landowner interest manager Mineral Resources Development Company and state-owned Petromin. Once the project is complete, it will generate substantial capital inflows to the country, as well as producing new jobs and improving living conditions in the area.


ExxonMobil contracted McConnell Dowell and Consolidated Contractors Co. (MCJV) to build the Komo Airfield. The work involved construction of a 3.2 km long x 45 m wide runway, as well as all airport infrastructure.

Along with other machinery on site, MCJV used 71 Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) machines to complete the project, including 21 A40E articulated haulers, 27 EC460CL excavators, eight G990 B-Series graders, six L180F/L150F wheel loaders, two Volvo 7820B pavers, two PT240R rollers, five different models of Volvo soil compactors including the SD100 B-Series and SD160 machines, (15 altogether), two BL61 B-Series backhoe loaders and two A35E articulated haulers modified to hold 40,000 liters of water.

Adapted from press release by Callum O’Reilly

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