The project construction is scheduled for early 2018.
The first batch of 80 French employees of Total and their families will arrive to live in Port Moresby this year as a commitment by the Elk Antelope LNG project developer.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said this move by Total reflected the growing interest by the big companies in France to invest in Papua New Guinea.
O’Neill met last week with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and 30 of the biggest companies in Paris as part of his European tour.
He was told by Fabius that France was keen on strengthening its presence in the Pacific.
He said Total was making good progress in the Elk Antelope LNG.
“I want to assure everyone that there is a huge interest from French companies, especially with Total’s decision to invest in the Elk Entelope LNG plant,” he said.
“They are now working on the financing of the project, talking to all the leading financial institutions throughout the world and making sure that funding is available for this project.
“They are also talking about the marketing arrangements and talking to leading consumers of LNG in the region which will enable us to secure the final investment decision in 2017.”