PNG Power seeks ADB bailout

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    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is expected to rescue PNG Power Limited before Christmas.

    This is by way of carrying out a major overhaul of all its power stations throughout the country including Port Moresby.

    Minister for State Owned Enterprise William Duma accompanied by PNG Power Limited chairman Moses Maladina and Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH) acting chairman Dr David Kavanamur made the announcement during a media conference in Port Moresby.

    “We were able to source some funding, mainly with the help from Asian Development Bank and we are expecting some funds to come to our State accounts around Christmas time (this week),” Duma said.

    He said as a State entity, the government has not been able to re-invest or invest in getting new equipment and install new technology and that has caused serious power issues around the country.

    “Nearly all of our transmission lines, grids and equipment at the substations, most of them are really old and we have to replace them with new ones.

    “Over the years, we have not been able to re-invest or invest in getting new equipment and new technology so it is a combination of many factors,” Duma said.

    He said there are plans in place to carry out an increased rehabilitation work on all power grids once PPL accesses those funds.

    “We have some very good plans. When we have access to the funds which we require, we will start the process of rehabilitating most of the problem areas, including equipment, power stations and entire transmission network that has been giving us problems.”

    He said PNG Power engineers have identified and ‘pin pointed’ problem areas and those areas will be addressed and equipment procured to fix the problems.

    Meanwhile, Maladina said the company has put in place both a “quick fix solution plan” and a “long-term plan” to create stability in the power generation sector.

    He said the plans will be addressing legacy issues right throughout the country including the Port Moresby Grid, Ramu Grid and also the East New Britain Province Grid.

    Dr Kavanamur also said PPL will witness an increased investment on the grids in Port Moresby and Lae on both “short-term” and “long-term plans”.

    He said the plans have been approved in the 2021 Annual Operating Plan and will be carried forward to 2022 New Corporate Plan.

    “We are looking at an increased rehabilitation of the power grid in Port Moresby. Power supply is not an issue, it is the evacuation of power onto the power grid and we have to modernise the grids,” Dr Kavanamur said.

    He said the funding will assist to address legacy issues and invest in new technology.

    Meanwhile, PNG Power Limited (PPL) has plans to connect East and West Sepik Provinces through Madang in 10 to 15 years.

    This is once the Ramu Hydro Power Station hits 200 megawatts of electricity supply.

    This was one of the long-term Plans announced by PPL Chairman Moses Maladina and Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH) chairman Dr David Kavanamur during a media conference in Port Moresby when commenting on the current power outages faced across the country.

    Both Maladina and Dr Kavanamur said Prime Minister James Marape and Minister for State Owned Enterprise William Duma have issued directions for PPL to plan ahead to connect West Sepik, East Sepik, Gulf and Milne Bay with electricity supply in the next 10 to 15 years.

    “We are planning for the next 10 to 15 years when population increases. We are planning to have a grid all the way to Madang, Wewak and Vanimo and Port Moresby to Kerema all the way to Alotau,” Maladina said.

    He said the Ramu 2 grid is expected to generate another 200 megawatts from a lot of investment from the government which will also take on board plans to upgrade old distribution and transmission lines.

    Dr Kavanamur said they will work on the Moitaka power station, Edevu Hydro power station and Papa Lealea Power station to supply adequate power supply.

    “Edevu station is about 54 megawatts and transmission lines go all the way to Port Moresby, Kerema and finally Alotau. Ramu 2 is coming on stream, waiting for final approval and that will be generated with power lines running all the way up to Ramu Nickel Mine and potentially all the way up to Angoram, covering West Sepik as well,” he added.

    Dr Kavanamur and Maladina said this was the plan for the next 10 years going forward while in the meantime, PPL will address all the legacy issues in the country.

    SOURCE: ADB/PACNEWS