Leighton Holdings Ltd is set to start construction of Esso Highlands Ltd's head office in Port Moresby, despite BHP Billiton Ltd's claims that Papua New Guinea are not encouraging companies to invest in the country.
In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Leighton subsidiary Leighton PNG said they had been awarded a $200 million contract to build the head office.
Craig Laslett, managing director of Leighton Contractors, said project was part of the company's overall strategy in PNG to "align ourselves with clients and project partners sharing our high standards of safety, environmental management and quality."
Construction is due to start in 2013 with a peak work force of 360 people.
Esso Highlands, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, have been constructing a liquified natural gas project in PNG since 2010, with construction expected to finish in 2014.
The agreement comes after BHP said the PNG government was discouraging companies from investing in the country.
This was fuelled by PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill's decision to ban Professor Ross Garnaut, former Ok Tedi mining Ltd chairman from the country.
Most recently, Mr O'Neill has accused BHP of holding a colonial era attitude in it's dealings with PNG.