K650-M Edevu Hydro Power Plant Launches

by Paul Oeka - May 02, 2023

Photo credit: AG Energy Limited

Project to Provide Resilience to Port Moresby's Energy Grid

Power is considered as the major backbone for all nations throughout the world including PNG on the basis of which the development of the country depends. Within this context, Energy has become an essential element in man's efforts to meet basic human needs, as energy generates power.

Due to Papua New Guinea's mountainous terrain and high rainfall in many parts of the country, Papua New Guinea has abundant, although largely untapped, hydropower resources but despite many years of economic growth, less than 20 per cent of the country’s population is connected to the power grid, which is owned and operated by state own entity, PNG Power Ltd.  Over the years the government has been working closely with the private sector and international partners to scale up household access, having set a goal of 70 per cent by 2030.

Generally, if a country has the resources to generate power at a competitive price the people of the country get the benefits in terms of improvement in their social and economic life. Given the relatively small population size, low access to electricity, commercial and technical challenges of hydropower, Papua New Guinea today has an installed capacity of less than 250 Mega Watts (MW). However, this is likely to increase over the coming decade with several projects under development.

With solar and renewable energy lacking clear strategic development plans, hydropower is expected to drive future renewable energy generation, as evidenced by the launch of several new hydro projects in recent years such as the Ramu 2 Hydro project and the recently completed Edevu Hydro Power plant.

The recent Edevu Dam impounding Ceremony Launched by Chinese investment firm PNG Hydro Power Ltd kicked off the opening of the Hydroelectric Power plant in Edevu on Friday 21 April, with a view to delivering accessible energy and power supply to local communities to the country's Capital and surrounding areas. [1]

Photo: The newly constructed K650 million Edevu hydro project is seated below the Brown River in the new Hiri Koiari District of Central Province.

Representing a total investment of over K700 million, the hydro power project will have an installed power generation capacity of 54 Mega Watts (MW) which is set to bring a reliable supply of electricity to the Southern region of the country. Within its 15-year development process the Edevu hydro power plant project has lived up to its expectations despite the social and economic challenges it has faced. In terms of its local content component, the construction of the hydropower project created a lot of jobs and is still expected to provide an abundance of opportunities in the coming years.

The company PNG Hydro Development Limited has invested K650 million in the project which is one of Central Province’s biggest assets that will supply electricity not only to Port Moresby but the whole Southern region in the near future. [1]

At the launching ceremony of the project, Prime Minister Hon. James Marape thanked the Koiari landowners of Central province and Chinese investor PNG Hydro Development Ltd for making the massive K750 million Edevu Hydropower Project along the Brown River possible.

“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, like governments of the past, and any government in 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.”

While hydropower remains economically attractive in many regions of the country, the development of the Edevu Hydro project highlights a number of major game changing factors to improve the energy grid of the country's capital which has been subjected to constant blackouts over the years.

As most studies portray, new hydropower projects often face long lead times, lengthy permitting processes, high costs and risks from environmental assessments, and opposition from local communities. These pressures mostly result in higher investment risks and financing costs compared with other power generation and storage technologies, thereby discouraging investors.

PNG Hydro Development Ltd managing director Allan Guo said it took them almost 15 years to reach the launch of the project and this was possible through the good relationship and discussions they had with the landowners of Edevu.

“We worked hard on this project. Port Moresby, Central and NCD will benefit from it,” PNG Hydro Development Ltd managing director Allan Guo said.

The Edevu Hydropower Plant is an impressive medium-scale plant built on the mainstream of the Brown River in the Hiri Koiari district of the Central Province. The powerhouse has four turbines with a total installed capacity of 50 MW. Once fully operative, the plant will provide electricity to about 40 per cent of homes and help PNG's Nation's Capital, Port Moresby, to meet its growing energy demands. [1]

Power consumption in PNG has been steadily growing by about 15 percent annually for the last several years, and hydropower is now part of a comprehensive plan the PNG government has developed to increase electricity access for its population.

Currently PNG Hydro Development Ltd will also construct the Edevu-Moitaka 132 kV transmission line under their subsidiary AG Investment to transport electricity from the Edevu plant, and eventually from the Naoro-Brown plant to the Central Province. AG Investment started working on the Edevu-Moitaka 132kV Transmission Line Project at the end of 2022. This ambitious undertaking involves building 104 towers to connect the grid and bring clean and reliable energy to the country's capital. This project will connect the Edevu Hydropower Station to the Port Moresby grid. [1]

In relation to the Nation's Capital's stance on this Energy development Governor Parkop, accompanied by City Manager Ravu Frank, inspected the project and was very impressed. He applauded the project initiative, a substantial foreign direct investment that will provide a reliable and cost-effective energy supply to NCD and Central Province. [2]

One of the major challenges of NCD has been reliable energy. The Edevu Hydropower Project will cater for an efficient energy supply.

"Port Moresby needs reliable, cheap and constant power supply for domestic needs and, more importantly, to industrialize our city. [2]

The Edevu project was launched in February 2017 by PNG Power and has been constructed by the Chinese company PNG Hydro Development Ltd, with operations expected to be carried out in the coming month. [1]

Hydro power is considered a renewable, environmentally friendly and a nonpolluting source of energy. Hydropower development will be critical to not only improving household electricity access, affordability, and grid reliability but also in achieving the government’s 2050 vision of a decarbonised power supply.



1) Project insight from Margaret Tambagle/ Manager & Communications / PNG Hydro Power Ltd/AG Energy Limited https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.aginvestmentpng.com/&ved=2ahUKEwitg-bmw8P-AhUka2wGHe80AWcQFnoECAkQAQ&usg=AOvVaw1S58Qvl__3PiYDZ9UVNlqd

2) City Sivarai April 16th, 2023 (NCDC Media) Sivarai/https://ncdc.gov.pg/media/city_sivarai/governor-parkop-visits-edevu-dam.html

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