PM Marape thanks Koiari landowners and investor for K770 million hydropower project
by PNG Business News - April 24, 2023
Photo: A bird’s eye view of the Edevu Hydropower Project - PM’s Office Media
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has thanked Koiari landowners of Central and Chinese investor PNG Hydro Development Ltd for making the massive K770 million Edevu Hydropower Project along the Brown River possible.
He also announced that the Government was partnering the project by way of K120 million for a 132KV transmission line from Edevu to Port Moresby which is already under construction, on top of the K650 million spent by the company.
The Prime Minister said this at Edevu Village on Friday, April 21, 2023, when launching the Edevu Hydropower Reservoir Impoundment. This is a major step towards commencement of the project – which started in 2009 with a first visit to the area by the investor.
He was accompanied by State Enterprises Minister Hon. William Duma, Petroleum and Energy Minister Hon. Kerenga Kua, Central Governor Hon. Rufina Peter, Hiri-Koiari MP Hon. Keith Iduhu, Kairuku MP Hon. Peter Isoaimo, other Ministers and MPs.
“We are a nation in pursuit of development. In the power sector, we want 70 per cent of our country – by 2030 – to have accessibility to cheap, reliable, and green energy to our country,” PM Marape said.
He said what the Edevu landowners had done, by going into partnership with a foreign investor, was a good example for traditional landowners in the rest of the country.
“You have shown a wonderful example to other landowners right across our country. You (landowners) own 97 per cent of land rights. My Government, as governments of past, and any government into the future, will not break that right you have. It is your inherent, God-given right to your land.
“But land sitting idle is of no use to us, or more importantly, our children and their children that will come into the future.”
PM Marape also thanked PNG Hydro Development Ltd, and particularly Managing-Director, Allan Guo and the Chinese financier, for their perseverance in the project since 2009.
“Thank you, investors, for having faith and confidence in my country. When the whole world was shut down, due to COVID-19, Mr Guo and his team of over 500 Papua New Guineans were still hard at work here in the Edevu mountains,” he said.
“It’s a wonderful reflection of an investor, who saw this opportunity thousands of miles away, and had faith in Papua New Guinea.
“For investors out there, who are wanting government gurantee and security, here is an example of a junior Papua New Guinea resident investor putting in money and making it happen.
“I want this to be an example to all you investors out there – Chinese, Japanese, Australia, US, European, Indonesian – that we want foreign investment in this country.
“I call on all those who have capacity in our country, including our super funds and Mineral Resources Development Company, who have billions of Kina in assets: ‘Be adventurous, step up like Allan Guo who had no strong balance sheet’.
“There is potential to move into the clean energy space because country’s energy needs will grow, with clean energy to take precedence.”
PNG Business News - August 11, 2021
PNG Signs Agreement with Fortescue Metals Group
The Government of Papua New Guinea has signed a landmark agreement with one of the world's biggest companies to venture into 'green energy' in a partnership that is likely to revolutionise power generation and supply in the near future. In another bold move to "Take Back PNG", the Government today signed the 'Deed of Agreement' with Australian company Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), the world's fourth largest producer of iron ore. The instrument was signed by the Minister for State Enterprises Hon. William Duma and Founder/Owner of FMG Dr. Andrew Forrest; and witnessed and co-signed by Prime Minister Hon. James Marape and Fortescue Future Industries CEO Julie Suttleworth. Prime Minister Marape called the signing "historic" as it paves the way for FMG through its industry company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and PNGFFI to explore and later look into developing renewable energy sources that will cover hydro, solar, wind and geothermal power. He said this was the "most appropriate and relevant way to go" as the world moves toward green energy and tries to cut down its carbon footprint. PM Marape added his Pangu-led government was keen on generating clean energy utilizing the country's natural resources - solar, wind, gas and geothermal hot springs. FMG Owner Dr. Forrest is the second richest man in Australia with a net worth of A$27.25billion, according to the Australian Financial Review. PM Marape thanked Dr. Forrest for his "personal choice" to invest in PNG in this frontier sector, calling him "a friend of PNG closer to home". Through a virtual video link, Dr. Forrest explained his personal affinity to PNG in that he had lost an uncle in PNG during World War II, one other reason he has chosen to invest in the country. Already the investor is eyeing sites in Gulf and West New Britian provinces to investigate and study hydropower and geothermal potentials respectively as it continues to explore other sites in PNG, especially geothermal, hydro and solar. PM Marape said Dr. Forrest had revealed during one of their earlier meetings that his company is able to produce over 25 gigawatts (250 billion watts) of power from PNG in renewable 'green hydrogen and green ammonia' energy - sufficient for both domestic use and export to overseas markets. The partnership is frontier-breaking and adds great value to the work the Marape Government is doing nationally in managing the country's natural resources better, and in the region and globally in reducing the impact of climate change through more environmentally-conscious projects. With the recent set up of the National Energy Authority, such projects would be better streamlined and properly operated through the Ministry of Energy, the Prime Minister said. PM Marape then invited Dr. Forrest to join him to advocate on green energy at the United Nations conference on climate change, COP26, later in the year. The signing now allows the company to begin work on acquiring relevant licences to progress work. Minister Duma said a timeframe of no more than three years was being looked at before the first project could be operated. Today's signing event was spearheaded by the Ministry of State Enterprises and its body, Kumul Consolidated Holdings. It was witnessed by government representatives from relevant departments and state bodies.
PNG Business News - September 24, 2021
K3M Hydropower Plant To Be Erected
Photo credit: Samo Trebizan/Shutterstock According to MP Douglas Tomuriesa, a K3 million hydropower plant capable of powering Goodenough Island in Milne Bay will be erected to serve the people of Kiriwina-Goodenough. “We have already contracted it out, we have just recently paid out K380,000 to the contractor and they have told us that it will cost us about K3 million to build a hydropower station,” Tomuriesa said. “That will bring in somewhere between 4.5 megawatts to 6 megawatts of power.” He said that six megawatts would be more than adequate for the island and could easily power a big city. Tomuriesa stated that the firm conducted surveys and that work will continue. On Wednesday, he was in the district to officially inaugurate the Vivigani airstrip, a classroom, and a teacher's residence for Vivigani Primary School. Meanwhile, Tomuriesa stated that four sawmills were located in Alotau and would be spread to the surrounding towns. He stated that the sawmills will be utilized to chop lumber for home construction in preparation for the hydropower station's completion. “It is not easy to get money from the Government so when you see power poles, classrooms and airports coming up, look after them.” He said that the new projects will allow Vivigani companies to expand. About 30,000 cocoa trees may be found on Goodenough Island. “Just two weeks ago, a boat came and loaded 100 bags of cocoa and took them to Alotau, that is more than 25 tonnes of cocoa, that brought an estimated K102,000 into the economy of Goodenough Island. “Organic cocoa is what the world wants, it is what the market wants,” Tomuriesa said. On Goodenough Island, he added, nine cocoa fermentaries had been erected, with another eight on the way, as well as seedlings for local farmers. Reference: Esila, Peter. The National (17 September 2021). “K3mil For Hydro Project”.
PNG Business News - May 04, 2021
Australia Supports Electrification for PNG
The Australian government has decided to contribute $US90 million (K315 million) to the Marape government's top-priority Edevu Transmission and Electrification program. The Edevu hydropower plant, which is based in Sogeri, is part of the Papua New Guinea Electrification Partnership, which seeks to reach 70 per cent electrification across the country by 2030 with the support of Australia, the United States, New Zealand, and Japan. Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey praised the announcement, calling it a major step forward for the Marape government's electrification efforts. “With only 13 per cent of the nation connected to power, this is a very important and ambitious project,” he said. “We know that the original announcement was made at the APEC meeting. This was a good announcement. But it is one thing to make big announcements and cut ribbons. “Support from our international friends and allies is critical, and I am grateful that Australia, through the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific, is coming to the party.” Ling-Stuckey stated that the discovery would be on favourable terms, with a $US18 million grant portion (K65 million). The money will be on-loaned to PNG Power Ltd, pending NEC clearance. The Edevu project would have the required infrastructure to link modern hydropower generation to the Port Moresby Grid, allowing diesel generation to be replaced at a lower cost and with less environmental impact. It will also allow for the upgrade of substations to improve grid stability. PPL will now be able to purchase and mount smart meters in consumer premises as part of the funding. Taxes, duties, levies, and fees on supplies, utilities, and facilities available for the project would be exempted as part of the Marape government's contribution.
PNG Business News - June 05, 2023
PNG PM Marape Participates in PIF Leaders Breakfast Caucas
Photo: PNG PM Marape Participates in PIF Leaders Breakfast Caucas Prior to the Korean-Pacific Islands Leaders (Kor-Pic) Meeting, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Marape joined other PIC Leaders for a breakfast caucus Chaired by Cook Islands Prime Minister and current Pacific Islands Forum Chair Mark Brown, to discuss the agenda and a common position on shared development issues. Prime Minister Marape said climate variation, being the perennial issue including sourcing appropriate development assistance from the Korean Government was high on the agenda. He said the encouragement during the caucus was for all PIC Leaders to discuss their developmental challenges and put forward their ideas on how Korean Development assistance could complement the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy. Following this caucus, Prime Minister Marape, met with Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles. Their discussions were centered around progress of the proposed Bilateral Security Treaty (BST), the recently concluded Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US, Visa issues and the PNG NRL Bid. On the BST, Prime Minister Marape mentioned that it was work in progress and required the PNG side to consult our domestic processes and sovereign laws in relation to certain wordings and provisions. He also conveyed his apologies to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for the delay in formalising this proposed Treaty with Australia. For the DCA with the US, Prime Minister Marape informed that it was centered around improving the PNGDF's capabilities and interoperability including protecting our frontiers and sovereignty. He said it was non-discriminatory and PNG was open to entering into similar arrangements with its bilateral partners. “In fact, the DCA would also complement domestic law enforcement,” Prime Minister Marape said. “The Ship Rider Agreement on the other hand was also vital in combating illegal fishing and transnational crimes.” For Visa issues, Deputy Prime Minister Marles informed that the current Australian Government was fully aware of the situation and following the Ministerial Forum in February this year in Canberra, had established a Joint Ministerial Team to work on bringing the Australian visa processing facility back on shore to PNG. Prime Minister Marape in his response said that all processes from both sides had to be attended to in order for smooth facilitation and for citizens and businesses to continue without much hindrance now and heading into 2050 when PNG celebrates 50 years of nationhood. On Papua New Guinea’s NRL Bid, Prime Minister Marape explained that PNG was still very keen as rugby league was a major unifying factor, bringing our 800 tribes together as one people. In closing Prime Minister Marape assured Deputy Prime Minister Marles that PNG in no way would compromise its excellent existing bilateral relations with Australia and further stressed that PNG was capable of managing its sovereign affairs on its terms, systems and processes.
PNG Business News - June 05, 2023
ADB Helps Launch Vocational Education Project in PNG
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) today launched a cofinanced project to improve the country’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) program. PNG's Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso delivered a keynote address at the launch event at Port Moresby Technical College. PNG’s Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, and Sports Don Polye, ADB Country Director for Papua New Guinea David Hill, and Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor Paul Lehmann all spoke at the event. The Improved Technical and Vocational Education and Training for Employment Project financed by ADB and the governments of Australia and PNG will strengthen the country’s TVET program and help prepare students to be more competitive and responsive to employment and industry demands. “We hope this project will become a model for all vocational education and skills training in TVET colleges in the country,” said Mr. Rosso. “The beneficiaries of this project—young, skilled workers, including women and men—represent PNG’s future, and through this project, the future of vocational education in PNG looks bright.” This project aims to boost the numbers of skilled workers in the construction and agriculture sectors where demand is high. “We will work with our partners to help advance reforms in the vocational education and skills training space in PNG,” said Mr.Hill. “These sought-after skills in priority sectors will help grow PNG’s economy.” The TVET sector of PNG’s education system comprises public, religious, or private institutions, including technical and business colleges offering postsecondary courses and vocational training. “The Australian government is pleased to be supporting the Government of Papua New Guinea to achieve its reform goals in technical and vocational education and training to increase the number and quality of skilled workers,” said Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor Paul Lehmann. “My vision for the TVET for Employment Project is that it will perform as an innovation and technology business incubator across PNG,” said Mr. Polye. “The project is the embodiment of a new approach—building a culture of quality education and innovation in a renewed and revitalized TVET sector.” The Improved Technical and Vocational Education and Training for Employment Project is funded through a $50 million concessional loan from ADB and a $10.6 million grant from Australia. The Government of PNG is also contributing $5.7 million. ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.
PNG Business News - June 05, 2023
PNG Forges an Innovation-fueled Partnership with South Korea in Digital Transformation
Papua New Guinea was amongst seven other Pacific Island countries to sign a partnership statement of intent with the Republic of Korea to further cooperation and partnership in digital transformation. Information and Communications Technology Minister Timothy Masiu, who also was appointed co- chair of the just concluded Korea -Pacific Islands Digital Ministerial Conference in Seoul, South Korea, signed the statement together with the meeting chairman Korean Minister for Science and ICT Dr Lee Jong-Ho. The others who signed the partnership intent are Tonga, Nauru, Samoa, Palau, Cook Islands and Kiribati. Australia and the World Bank also attended the meeting as supporting partners. The Statement of Intent states; The partnership recognize digitalization has transformed not only daily lives but also shapes innovation in all sectors including politics, economy, society, culture and environment. Recognize and note that digital technology offers great potential to address various social economic challenges that come with rapid transformation of society. Agree on continued partnership in digital transformation inclusive of sustainable development will be the key to future prosperity of the people of Korea and the pacific. Agree on sharing digital vision of policies will pave way for strong partnership to digital co-prosperity. Mr Masiu expressed deep satisfaction that Korea , the global leading innovation country, has agreed to partner with Pacific countries including Papua New Guinea in digital transformation that will greatly enhance communication in a vast area like the Pacific and more so, strengthen supporting technology to better access to health, education and business. He told the conference that Papua New Guinea has begun the digital transformation with Parliament passing the Digital Government Act 2022 and relevant policies, and welcomed the partnership with the Republic of Korea, which he says, will go a long way in progressing the digital transformation agenda for PNG and the region. Mr Masiu had bilateral meeting with his South Korean counterpart, further seeking a stronger country to country relations in digital transformation and support to the National Broadcasting Corporation proposing a partnership between the NBC and the Korean Broadcasting Services. The Minister has formally invited the Korean Minister for Science and ICT to visit Papua New Guinea for the Pacific ICT meeting in August 2023 or to accompany the South Korean President who has been invited by Prime Minister James Marape to visit PNG. Mr Marape was in Seoul also this week for the Korea- Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting. Minister Dr Lee Jong-Ho acknowledges the leadership of Papua New Guinea in digital transformation and reaffirmed its support to PNG and the other Pacific Island countries.