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PNG Business News - November 11, 2021
MARAPE: PNG’S INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP WITH DR. ANDREW FORREST BIGGER THAN JUST PURARI RIVER HYDRO
Photo Credit: PNG Buzz / Papua New Guinea's State Enterprises Minister, Sasindran Muthuvel (left), Prime Minister James Marape (centre) and the chairman of Fortescue Metals Group of Australia, Andrew Forrest, sign an agreement in Port Moresby back in September 2020. PRIME Minister Hon. James Marape, MP says Papua New Guinea’s partnership with Dr. Andrew Forrest and his company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) is bigger than just hydro in Purari River and will encompass a huge set of projects worth billions of kina that must be appreciated and guarded by Papua New Guineans. He says the Fortescue Metals Group – through its subsidiary FFI – is seriously moving into futuristic clean energy and its scope is broader than just the Purari River systems but covering also Kikori and Strickland systems, and the geothermal sites throughout Papua New Guinea beginning in West New Britain Province. “I have met Dr. Forrest on a number of occasions and his interest in green clean energy in PNG is sincere and serious. Through his futuristic green energy subsidiary company, FFI is looking at harvesting up to 25 gigawatts of power for clean energy to sell to the world from our country, including migrating some of FMG industries into PNG. These are huge projects worth billions of kina. “I am utterly disappointed in Post-Courier’s misreporting and misrepresentation today. This is a newspaper company with nearly 30 percent of Papua New Guinean shareholding interest who continue to misreport, belittle and tarnish the work the Papua New Guinea government is doing no matter how big or small. For the journalist to always find negativity in innovation shows a shallow mind when the world is at this point moving into clean energy and new frontiers of technology. “I am a prime minister who is very excited about taking our country into new frontiers and breaking barriers that others think we as a country cannot do. This includes clean green energy, Information & Communication Technology, digital and cyberspace, the downstream of our raw resources in gold, gas, timber, fisheries, agriculture and so forth. “This direction is new and might seem impossible to some. This direction will affect the comfort many are used to and may have enjoyed during the status quo, but I will not be deterred from this course. The world will move in this direction in as far as energy is concerned, and Papua New Guinea is partnering FFI to pioneer this very source as part of our global response to climate change. “If we do not join, we will be left behind when countries of the world move away from carbon-based energy solutions and into green energy. “All or any company with proposals to do business in PNG are welcomed and can come in with their proposals. We can agree but due processes on compliance to all our laws on investments, regulations and national interests must first of all take place. "We will process all submissions, like the one from Botswa from Botswana, whom we are awaiting to return to us to advance their business interest in PNG. “The natural resources in PNG are plentiful, including those in the green energy space. Hydro and water resources abound in this country; we can fit any investor in any part of the country who wants to use our rivers and springs so and there is no clash or collision as alluded to by the Post-Courier. “The government has the interest of its people first and foremost and will do everything it sees fit to make sure these large-scale investments are done properly and fully,” said Prime Minister Marape. Article courtesy of Department of PM&NEC
PNG Business News - November 09, 2021
Fortescue Future Industries to develop portfolio of major green energy and hydrogen projects in Papua New Guinea
Photo credit: Fortescue Future Industries Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) is partnering with Papua New Guinea (PNG), one of the most renewable energy-rich countries in the world, to develop multiple large-scale green energy and green hydrogen projects. FFI’s Papua New Guinea Fortescue Future Industries Ltd, and the State of Papua New Guinea today signed a Master Development Agreement (MDA) that will enable FFI to undertake feasibility studies to develop up to seven hydropower projects and 11 geothermal energy projects in PNG. These projects would generate renewable electricity for the purpose of producing green hydrogen and green ammonia, creating a significant new domestic energy and export industry for PNG, which currently heavily relies on imported oil. FFI Chief Executive Officer, Julie Shuttleworth AM said, “Our green energy vision for PNG will lead to more jobs, a stronger economy, thriving communities and importantly, lower emissions for Papua New Guinea. “We share Prime Minister Marape’s vision that PNG can be at the forefront of developing hydropower and geothermal resources for the emerging global green hydrogen industry. “We are looking forward to continuing our work alongside the Government of Papua New Guinea to develop these important opportunities,” Ms Shuttleworth said. FFI’s identified projects in PNG could produce up to 2.3 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year once completed. Fortescue Chairman, Dr Andrew Forrest AO said, “These projects will completely transform PNG to become a leader in the world’s renewable energy transition. “We are committed to ensuring PNG’s communities benefit from growth and development through these projects, including training, employment and business development opportunities,” Dr Forrest said. FFI’s proposed Purari Wabo Hydropower project and West New Britain Geothermal project have made significant progress with scoping studies and early-stage pre-feasibility works completed. FFI is a values-based business committed to enriching communities through economic growth, gender equality of employment and education, and ending exploitation and modern slavery. “We are proud that our investment contracts place human rights, environment and then economics, in that order, in every discussion we have with every government in the world,” Ms Shuttleworth said. “FFI will also undertake extensive community, landowner and stakeholder engagement to develop a detailed national content plan as part of its stakeholder investment strategy.” FFI’s projects will be conducted in full compliance with PNG laws and adhere to strict international best practice standards relating to the conservation and protection of the environment, biodiversity and cultural heritage, occupational health and safety, anti-bribery and corruption, anti-money laundering and eradicating modern slavery. Article courtesy of Fortescue Future Industries
PNG Business News - November 01, 2021
Australia announces support package for improved electricity in Bougainville
Photo credit: Autonomous Bougainville Government Communities in Buka and Arawa will soon see improved access to stable, clean and sustainable electricity. This follows the announcement of upgrades to the PNG Power electricity grids in Buka and Arawa yesterday. Australian High Commissioner to PNG Jon Philp officially announced this support package yesterday in Buka, in the presence of ABG Minister for Technical Services, Dr Joseph Swuamaru, senior management of PNG Power Limited and the Bougainville administration. The electricity support package totaling K50million will be implemented over the next eighteen months, and will see the immediate hire of new generators for Buka and Arawa to ensure stable power is provided for consumers. “We will hire immediately in the next month or two months, new generators on a hire basis, for both Buka and Arawa to make sure you have the power you need now,” said High Commissioner Philp. “Once those are installed, we will buy new generators for both Buka and Arawa to make sure there is sufficient power, to make sure it's stable and it runs at all times,” he said. In addition to this, a feasibility study will be conducted to look at delivering long term solutions for the power needs in Bougainville. This will include further exploration into solar power. ABG Minister for Technical Services Hon. Joseph Swuamaru acknowledged the ongoing support and partnership of the Australian government. Minister Swuamaru highlighted that Bougainville continues to face significant challenges in its physical infrastructure, however Bougainville must ensure that it invests in developing its own resources to ensure that there is sustainability in donor-supported programs such as this for the energy sector. “We should invest in developing our capabilities so that we sustain this support. That means investing in human resources, that means improving management,” he said. Minister Swuamaru further explained that development of an Energy policy for Bougainville is currently underway and looks at technology-neutral options such as solar, hydro, wind, geothermal for the energy sector. He said that the Energy policy will promote a decentralized design of energy generation, transmission and distribution so that generation units can be set up right at the constituency and ward levels. Article courtesy of the Autonomous Bougainville Government
PNG Business News - November 01, 2021
Dirio to Begin Delivering Power into Port Moresby
The 100 per cent national owned Independent Electricity Producer, Dirio Gas and Power Limited and PNG Power Limited, has announced that it would begin delivering power into the Port Moresby grid at the end of this month. Dirio and PNG Power directors inked an agreement that allows Dirio to deliver power to the PNG Power system in Port Moresby. In November 2020, Dirio completed and commissioned a 45-megawatt (MW) power plant in Caution Bay, Central Province, but was unable to supply electricity due to PNG Power's failure to build a transmission line or to have sufficient capacity and stability on existing transmission lines to take the full supply as stipulated in the Power Purchase Agreement. This is the first phase of the entire deployment, according to Dirio Chairman Isaac Lupari. He said Dirio and PNG Electricity collaborated to tackle the grid transmission network stability issue in Port Moresby and inked another key agreement on October 20, 2021, allowing power delivery to commence on October 30, 2021. “There has been some delay due to technical issues, but those have now been resolved, and I thank our Directors and everyone for being patient. “This business is owned by landowners. I am proud that our people are getting into the downstream processing business.” Lupari said. He stated that their goal is to deliver consistent, inexpensive power to people in the capital city while also generating a long-term profit. Dirio Electricity is owned by landowners and provincial governments, according to Hela Governor Philip Undialu, who stated it was a risky move to enter the power market. “For too long, we have left it to foreigners to dominate the electricity sector in PNG. That must change. Papua New Guineans must get into this sector and I am glad we have taken the bold stand with this initiative,” Undialu said. He commended the Mineral Resources Development Company's board of directors and management, as well as Dirio, for their efforts in completing the project. PNG LNG Project landowners, as well as the provincial governments of Hela, Southern Highlands, Gulf, and Central, own Dirio. Reference: Post-Courier (25 October 2021). “Dirio Ready To Supply Electricity”.
PNG Business News - October 18, 2021
PNG Power and Dirio signs Power Purchase Agreement
Dirio has completed its first power project in Caution Bay, near the PNGLNG Plant Site, which is expected to be operational later this month. PPL needed to modernize its transmission and substation infrastructure, which took a lengthy time. Governor Undialu advised landowners not to trust Facebook zealots who only know how to write beautiful English and have no idea how tough it is to get into a foreign-dominated sector. The Dirio Project will make use of the 240km 132kva power transmission lines that are currently being built between Hagen and Hides. For the past 30 donkey years, Hela and SHP have remained in the dark. The rest of the highlands and Momase are in desperate need of a cheap and dependable electricity source. That is the purpose of this PPA. He also thanked Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, Minister Duma, Moses Maladina-Chairman of the PPL Board, Obert Batia-CEO PPL with all his technical officers, Chairman and MD of Kumul Consolidated Holdings Ltd, Chairman and MD of Dirio and MRDC Ambr Isac Lupari, MRDC MD Augustine Mano, Acting CEO of Dirio Mr Tuan, ExxonMobil, and everyone Governor Undialu wrapped up his remarks by noting, "Hides' low-cost, dependable power supply is a game-changer for the highlands and parts of Momase. The Hela Community's fulfillment of the 'Hela Gigira Laitebo Prophecy' is significant ".. Reference: Papua New Guinea Today (14 October 2021). “PNG Power and Dirio sign Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for Hela Power”.
PNG Business News - October 11, 2021
Forestry Minister Says Small Island Developing States are Critical for PNG
Minister for Forestry Walter Schnaubelt stated that discussions on renewable energy transitions and financial access alternatives for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are critical for PNG. Schnaubelt was speaking at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai when the Energy Transition Accelerator funding platform was launched. He stated that Papua New Guinea, like other signatories to the Paris Agreement, is committed to taking action to address climate change adaptation while also contributing to global efforts to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. “PNG submitted ambitious Adaptation and Mitigation commitments in its enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in December 2020 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Our mitigation commitments focus on the two largest emitting sectors and these are the Energy and the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sectors,” Schnaubelt said. In terms of energy obligations, Schnaubelt stated, "We intend to generate 78 per cent of power from renewable energy sources by 2030." “The plan has been revised and harmonised. It will be launched on October 8 2021, during this Climate change and biodiversity thematic week, back in Papua New Guinea. The highlights will also include the launch of the Climate Change (Management) NDC Regulation (2021) and the NDC Implementation Plan Roadmaps for the Electricity and AFOLU sector,” he said. He went on to say that these pledges represent PNG's efforts to address climate change consequences and that the country has identified a number of renewable energy projects worth more than USD100 million to help with sustainable development, especially in rural communities. The issue, according to Schnaubelt, is to obtain money as well as the necessary technical assistance in the packaging and execution of these projects. As a result, the NDC pledges are conditional and contingent on the availability of international technical and financial assistance. Reference: Post-Courier (7 October 2021). “Renewable Energy Transitions And Financial Access Options Important”.
Marcelle P. Villegas - October 04, 2021
Mapping out the potentials for geothermal energy
Volcanic eruption in Tavurvur volcano, Rabaul, New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea [Photo credit: Eric Lafforgue - www.ericlafforgue.com] "PNG through Mineral Resource Authority (MRA) has now embarked on undertaking geothermal exploration in the country with assistance from the World Bank and the Government of Iceland through training of its staff, as there is a need to diversity in its energy source and increase the energy needs of the country." (taken from "Geothermal Mapping in PNG" by Barney Orere, Post-Courier.com.ph) From a commentary article by Barney Orere, a list of opportunities and challenges were enumerated from Mining and Exploration Bulletin 2014 by the Mineral Resources Authority. The report details out the geothermal prospects as a potential source of sustainable energy in PNG. Investment opportunities were brought to light as a result of the 2018 APEC Summit where three countries have teamed up with the PNG Government and PNG Power Limited to lighting up 70% of PNG by 2030. One question that surfaced is about Deidel on Fergusson Bay Province. Being a geothermal prospect, will it offer any potential investments to have a positive impact on the country? For this, MRA conducted studies and investigations in the islands of New Guinea. Here are some keypoints: ~ The volcanic island of New Britain is the most prospective region for the development of geothermal energy resources in Papua New Guinea.  ~ The northern coastline from the Willaumez Peninsula in Talasea and West New BritaIn Province of the Gazelle Peninsula in Rabaul has scattered geothermal prospects. New Britain Island has several volcanoes which are dormant. The island has two active volcanoes, namely: Pago in Cape Hoskins are in West New Britain Province (WNBP) and the Rabaul (Tavurvur) volcano in the Gazelle Peninsula in East New Britain Province (ENBP). On the other aspects of the study, the main economic activity in West New Britain Province is based largely on oil palm industry. This is apart from other business activities in its capital, Kimble, plus in smaller towns in Hoskins and Bialla. How many people are dependent on this industry? Based on the population count in NRI Report 2010, Talasea District (in West New Britain Province) is around 128,800. For their livelihood, these people are directly and indirectly dependent on oil palm industry. Where do they get their electricity? Their province has four 400-6-KW diesel generators and two mini-hydro power plants supplied by PNG Power Limited. These are the main sources of electricity for this province. Additionally, their local oil palm plantations have their own energy sources in order to address the issue of insufficient electricity supply. This is their backup energy source as their solution for the frequent power outages. More on the geothermal study in Papua New Guinea, geoscientific information reports that WNBP has a few scattered geothermal prospects. "…previous reconnaissance geochemical survey undertaken in Talasea provided temperatures which ranges from 44°C to 101°C. (Berhane and Mosusu, 1997)"  MRA started conducting geothermal exploration in Papua New Guinea with the support of the World Bank and the Government of Iceland. "The reconnaissance field survey of the various geothermal sites in the Talasea District of WNBP was undertaken in November 2012 as part of the MRA's ongoing geothermal exploration work."  Papua New Guinea belongs on the "Ring of Fire" location, thus strong and frequent seismic activities are notable here. Seismicity is rampant at the northeastern margins of the Solomon Sea where the Solomon plate is sub-ducted northward beneath the South Bismarck and the Pacific Plates along the New Britain Trench. The seismicity in this region is known as one of the most intense in the world.  More on the geothermal prospects, WNBP has at least seven, five of which were explored during the field work. They are Pangalu-Talasea, Bola and Garbuna (Garu area west of Garbuna) in the Williaumez (Talasea) Peninsula, Silanga and Kasiloli prospects in the Hoskins area. Two prospective locations that were not visited are Galloseulo and Bamus. Pangalu and Talasea are considered as separate prospects. In the report as well, Bola is part of Talasea. In the survey, 36 geothermal surface features were identified. These features are geysers, hot springs mud pools, fumaroles and streaming grounds. These geothermal manifestations were studied to determine the temperature, pH, salinity, conductivity and feature dimensions. These geothermal surface features are located within the oil palm plantations, near settlements and near Kimble and Hoskins towns. In the study, water and gas samples were also gathered for analysis. Samples that were taken include 13 spring samples, seven gas samples and even a meteoric water sample from Laka Dakautaua at the Williaumez Peninsula. The samples were sent for lab analysis at the New Zealand Geothermal Analytical Laboratory (NZGAL), GNS Science, Wairakei. Ten of the samples were taken from Williaumez Peninsula, three from Silanga and one from Kasiloli. WNBP is situated within an active tectonic area, thus geothermal activity is common here. The data below shows why these four locations are good prospects for geothermal spots: Pangalu (Rabili) - 270°C to 295°C Talasea Station - 270°C to 310°C Silanga (Bakama and Sakalu) - 210°C to 290°C Kasiloli (Magouru) - 275°C to 300°C Since geothermal prospects Pangalu and Talasea Station are situated within the shoreline, the water samples may be contaminated with seawater. For this, isotopic analysis is needed to test the water samples accurately. This technique in testing and analysis can determine possible seawater contamination of the sample. The report notes that there is a lack of gas and isotopic data analysis during the study. Thus, it is recommended that isotopic analysis should be part of the study. Another important recommendation is the use of proper equipment in collecting gas samples, in order to come up with accurate geochemistry data. Overall, further investigations are needed in surface geology mapping, geophysics survey and geochemical surveys of hot springs that were not yet sampled. ----- Reference: Orere, Barney (24 Feb. 2021). "Geothermal Mapping in PNG". Papua New Guinea Post-Courier. Retrieved from - https://postcourier.com.pg/geothermal-mapping-in-png-2/ Photo credit: Volcano in PNG – Tavurvur volcano, Rabaul, New Britain Island - https://www.flickr.com/photos/mytripsmypics/8398027130 by Eric Lafforgue Photography - https://www.ericlafforgue.com/articles/About
PNG Business News - September 24, 2021
PNG Power Allots K700M for Power Projects
According to PNG Power Ltd, more than K700 million in power investment has been committed for the remainder of 2021 and next year, with further projects to be announced. About ten projects will begin under the PNG electrification partnership, according to PNG Power's director of project delivery Eric Alom, who spoke at a PNG Business Council conference (PEP). “Since 2018 up to this year, we have never had any real movement on the delivery and coordination of the PEP programme,” he said. “Now we are able to have a single central entity that is purely focused on project delivery and coordination.” The following projects are in the works: The Australian government has provided a K128 million loan and grant for the EDEVU to Port Moresby transmission line and substation, which is currently being procured. The Australian government provided a K40 million loan and grant for the LEALEA to Kanudi transmission line. Many companies will be present, and they will require a reliable power supply and network. It's still in the planning stages. A K327 million counter-funded grant and loan from Australia and the Asian Development Bank is being used to enhance the power industry. It's still in the early stages of defining the scope and negotiating the financial terms. PROVINCIAL microgrids – a K40 million Australian grant to build a stand-alone grid with its own supply and distribution. Finschhafen, Maprik, Wewak, Daru, and Kerema feasibility studies are currently being procured. A K6 Million Australian funding for a grid capacitor bank in Port Moresby; Priority minor projects for PPL - a K25 million Australian funding to repair generators and renovate distribution and transmission lines; ENERGY utility performance and reliability enhancement project - a K103 million World Bank financing will begin next year; Rural electrification in PAPUA NEW GUINEA using a K32 million grant from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Around 2022, a significant grid densification and intensification initiative centred in Markham and Lae will be implemented in Morobe. A K2.5 million US assistance grant for PPL business infrastructure support, and; PEP is launching a big countrywide home connectivity initiative. The amount of money available has yet to be determined. Reference: The National (23 September 2021). “K700mil for electricity projects”.
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 - August 23, 2021
National Energy Authority to Receive K1.5B for Electrification Roll out
For the countrywide electrification rollout plan, the National Energy Authority will receive K1.5 billion over five years from development partners, donors, and financiers. NEA chairman Joe Gabut described the concept and pointed out the immediate obstacles ahead in carrying out the program in an 18-page presentation at the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum media and community affairs workshop. According to him, there is a lack of coordination in the rollout of the national electrification plan. “The target is electricity access to 70 per cent of PNG households by 2030,” he said. “Specific implementation policies and regulations are required for off-grid rural electrification to be successful.” He also stated that off-grid or rural electrification needs technical regulation as well as a flexible tariff structure. “Provisional permits will be issued to help developers or operators of mini-grids do feasibility studies and full permits will be issued to the developer or operator if the mini-grid is likely to be sustainable.” Gabut stated that cost is a big issue for rural families, with most of the households being serviced by solar home systems or pico hydro for villages. Some of the larger projects, like the huge generating project, are already having an influence on the newly formed NEA. The Ramu 2 hydroelectric plant is resuming construction. Before a license can be given, the national energy authority and other state organizations are working with PNG Power Limited to satisfy the prerequisite requirements. Fortesque Minerals of Australia is pursuing the Purari liquid hydrogen project aggressively, while the Simbu province administration and landowners are collaborating with an Italian business to build the Karamui hydro plan. The Finschhafen area has another project in the works, with PNG Hydro Development Limited JV working on a prospective 200 MW hydro project. Reference: Tom, Patrick. Post-Courier (17 August 2021). “K1.5B For Nationwide Electrification Rollout”.
PNG Business News - August 16, 2021
PNG Under Explored in Geothermal Energy
Photo Credit: Shuttershock According to William Duma, Minister of Public Enterprises and State Investment, Papua New Guinea is under-explored in terms of geothermal energy development. Duma was speaking at the signing of a geothermal deed of agreement between the state and Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), an Australian company. “Comparatively, Papua New Guinea is under-explored,” he said. “If a geothermal location is to be determined to be viable for commercialisation, then, of course, Fortescue will apply for all the necessary licenses required for each province in accordance with the applicable legislation which the company is aware of.” According to Duma, Fortescue Future Industries has discovered geothermal resources in numerous places around the country, with the potential to generate up to 10 gigawatts of power. West New Britain, he said, had a caldera (Mt Talawe) in Talasea; Milne Bay, with areas of interest on Fergusson, Goodenough, and Normanby islands; Northern, with Mt Lamington; Madang, with resources on Karkar, Long, and Manam islands; East Sepik, with the islands of Bam, Blup Blup, and Kairiru; and Morobe, with parts of Bulolo and Wau, the McAdam National Park and the islands of Siassi and Umboi. Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCHL) signed the agreement with FFI on behalf of the State. According to KCHL managing director Isikeli Taureka, the deal with Fortescue was to look at areas of interest in the country. Fortescue would next go out and perform more research to determine the capability of the geothermal sites that had been found, he added. Following the confirmation of viable sites, Taureka said the developer and the state would sign a project agreement outlining what each party would undertake to develop the resource and the advantages to stakeholders. He said that geothermal locations might be used to generate electricity, which would lead to more development such as roads and other infrastructure. “Our side is to make sure that all the Government laws and permits are complied with.” Reference: Mauludu, Shirley. The National (12 August 2021). “Focus on geothermal energy”.
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 - July 26, 2021
ICCC not Regulating Electricity
Following the passing of the National Energy Authority Act 2021, the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) said that it no longer had regulatory authority over the power business (NEA Act). Commissioner and CEO Paulus Ain stated that this was done in line with National Gazettal Notice No: G443, which went into force on July 5. He stated that the ICCC has regulated the power supply sector since 2002 until the NEA Act and Electricity Industry (Amendment) Act 2021 were passed. “The electricity industry in PNG was declared under the Electricity Industry Act to be a regulated industry for purposes of the ICCC Act 2002 until the passing of the NEA Act,” he said. “Accordingly, in 2002, the then Minister for Treasury, the late Sir Mekere Morauta, declared all power supply services to be regulated services under the ICCC Act. “As a result of these declarations, the electricity tariffs, service standards and licensing arrangements have been subjected to the ICCC’s oversight.” The ICCC, according to Ain, collaborated with all stakeholders, industry players, and development partners, including funders, to design and implement the required economic and technical regulatory frameworks, strategies, procedures, guidelines, and measures to enhance and ensure: PNG's Efficiency in the Electricity Sector; Regulatory and Impartiality Independence of the Market; The competitiveness of the Market; INEXPENSIVE pricing of electricity services; and, SERVICE reliability and accessibility. “Since 2002, the ICCC has supported the Government’s development agendas for the electricity industry by developing and implementing various electricity industry codes, rules and regulations that promote and protect efficiency and competition for electricity markets, improved service standards, and ensured regulatory compliance.” The National Energy Authority was formed under the NEA Act (NEA). According to Ain, the energy/electricity sector's institutional reforms meant that: Although there was no clear delineation about separation in duties under the NEA Act or the EI Amended Act, the NEA would undertake the economic regulatory functions of the ICCC. The list of ICCC functions, as well as portions of the Electricity Industry Act pertaining to land access and ownership of transmission lines, safety and technical requirements and crimes, will be repealed under the EI (Amendment) Act. Although there did not appear to be any grandfathering clauses, LICENSES granted under the Electricity Industry Act (Ch. 78) and the ICCC Act were maintained under the NEA Act; and, NEA would be able to levy taxes and fees, including generation licensing charges. According to Ain, the NEA Act has a lot of anomalies, confusing clauses, overlapping duties, and inconsistencies that are likely to have a negative impact and throw the electrical business into disarray, further jeopardizing the government's aim of 70% power availability by 2030. While the ICCC recognized the government's choice to create the NEA, he stated that the regulatory system described in the NEA Act needed to be corrected to ensure that the NEA's activities remained sound and appropriate. Reference: The National (22 July 2021). “ICCC not regulating electricity”.
PNG Business News - July 21, 2021
Bekker's Initiatives and Programs will be Reviewed By PPL
Former managing director Flagon Bekker's current plans, projects, and activities will be reviewed by PNG Power Limited. Some of the major initiatives, programs, and works done and left behind by Bekker are good for PPL's development, according to PPL acting chief executive officer Obed Batia. However, a review exercise will be conducted to see if some of the initiatives, programs, and works done and left behind by Bekker are good for PPL's development. He stated that he intends to do a thorough assessment to decide if PLL should continue with these initiatives, programs, and projects or adapt them to match current strategies. For the time being, he added, his short-term strategy is to ensure that there is dependability and that the PPL continues to receive money. “I want to make certain that our retail keeps on collecting what is owed to PPL in order for us to have enough funds to pay for services providers and re-investments into our assets,” he said. According to Batia, dependability is critical, and he wants to ensure that PPL's operations staff is working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure that electricity is available in both major cities and remote areas. He went on to say that PPL has to re-think how they operate and carry out power supply in the country if they are to provide dependable and consistent power supply. Reference: Kamus, Maxine. Post-Courier (16 July 2021). “PPL To Review Initiatives, Programs Set By Bekker”.
PNG Business News - July 21, 2021
PPL Inks K71 Million Power Deal
For the expansion of the Tari to Hides high voltage transmission line, PNG Power Limited has inked a K71 million deal with Chinese Tibean Electrical Company. The 132 kV transmission line will be extended from Mt Hagen to Tari and from Tari to Hides, according to PPL acting chief executive officer Obed Batia. He claimed that this will boost consumers while also providing power to the country's remote villages. The government allowed the Tari to Hides link to be included in the scope of Phase 2 of the National Power Grid Development Project, according to State Enterprise Minister William Duma. PPL will build this critical transmission line and substations, according to Tibean Electrical Group Limited. “The scope of the extension includes 40km of a three-phased single circuit 132kV transmission line of 6.6 per 132kV step up sub-station at the Hides plant and 132kV extension bars and laundry gantry at Tari sub-station.” He said that the project's scope and cost include land access, tower base payments, and compensation for upgrades, totalling K71 million including contingencies. “The Tari to Hides link is critical to enable dispatch of the proposed Hela Power gas-fired plant into the grid and reliably distributed to customers optimising the use of the upgraded transmission infrastructure and making the project economically viable in the medium term. TBEA will subsequently construct the critical missing link transmission infrastructure between Tari and Hides following the signing, according to Duma. According to Prime Minister James Marape, this is a government-funded initiative to build a supernational grid system that will extend from the Highlands to the Mamose, as part of a national goal to ensure that 70% of homes have access to dependable and cheaper electricity by 2030. Reference: Kamus, Maxine. Post-Courier (16 July 2021). “PPL Signs K71 Million Tari-Hides Power Deal”.