PNG Business News - March 07, 2022

Japan Awards K15.6M Grant to Hydropower Project

For development on the Rouna 3 hydropower project in Central, the Japanese government has awarded a K15.6 million grant. Soroi Eoe, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, thanked Japanese Ambassador Nobuyuki Watanabe for the money in Port Moresby. The K15.6 million donation, according to Ambassador Watanabe, was authorized by the Japanese government in a recent cabinet meeting and will be used to purchase electrical equipment to improve power generation, notably at the Rouna 3 hydropower project. The award, according to Eoe, would help PNG Vision 2050 achieve its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 90% and generating 100% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2050. It will also assist PNG Power in providing low-cost generation to link families as part of the PNG Electrification Partnership and PNG Development Strategic Plan, which aims to connect 70% of households by 2030. Despite the economic downturn and income contraction caused by the Coronavirus (Covid-19), Watanabe stated that Japan will continue to help PNG. In 2021, Japan offered K1 billion in direct budget support, K34 million in grant assistance for rural electricity, K13 million in grant assistance for construction equipment to support infrastructure development in West Sepik, Manus, Milne Bay, and Enga, and now the grants for Rouna 3 and Tokua Airport. Watanabe was reassured by Eoe's assurance that the grant funds would be used properly and for their intended purposes.   Reference: The National (1 March 2022). “Japan govt gives K15.6mil for work on hydropower station”.


PNG Business News - February 28, 2022

PM Marape thanks Warangoi landowners

Landowners in Warangoi, Pomio, East New Britain, have been informed that they would be paid K5 million for the use of their land and water for the Warangoi Hydro Power Project by James Marape. In Parliament, he provided this guarantee to Pomio MP, Hon. Elias Kapavore, who had inquired about the payment schedule. PM Marape promised landowners that they would be compensated the K5 million they requested for the usage of their land and water when he opened the K83 million 10 Megawatt Warangoi PNG Power Ltd (PPL) Hydro Power Project Major Rehabilitation Project in November. He praised landowners in Parliament today for enabling East New Britain to utilize their land and water for 30 years to produce power. PM Marape stated that he had discussed the matter further with the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, Hon. It was in the KCH Work Plan for 2022, and it was written by William Duma and Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH). “That K5 million commitment is part of that work plan,” he said. “We could not find the money last year as it was not factored into the work plan, but based on that commitment, we came back and I am happy to announce that the K5 million is captured in this year’s work plan. “Within this month, or next month, the minister responsible (Duma), the KCH team and PNG Power will inform your (Pomio) team and they will do an official handover of that K5 million.” PM Marape commended the Warangoi landowners for their patience for more than 30 years. “They’ve shown goodwill to allow Warangoi Hydro to be functional and it is only fair that we honour them ASAP,” he said.   Reference: PM James Marape News Page (23 February 2022). “PM Marape thanks Warangoi landowners”.


PNG Business News - December 08, 2021

PNG has potential to become ‘huge’ producer of green products

Prime Minister James Marape has been told that Papua New Guinea has "the potential to become a large supplier of green products for the globe," with 19 gigawatts of electricity already estimated from the Purari, Kikori, and Strickland hydro potentials, as well as the West New Britain geothermal projects. Julie Suttleworth, the CEO of green energy producer Fortescue Future Industries, told the Prime Minister this while on her route to tour project sites in Gulf and West New Britain in her briefing to the PM. She also rated West New Britain's geothermal locations as "one of the top three regions in the world" for Fortescue projects. The CEO was replying to the Prime Minister's question on whether PNG's green energy potential will fulfill the projections made by FFI owner and environmentalist Dr Andrew Forrest, who claimed that PNG's renewable energy sources could generate up to 25 gigawatts of power. Suttleworth said: “We have currently indicated that there were about 15 gigawatts of hydropower that is in the Master Development Agreement that we could access. So we are starting at 15 gigawatts of hydropower; there is approximately 4.3 gigawatts of geothermal also that we have identified at this stage. “This is early days; there may be more. So that totals to about 19 gigawatts that our study team has already identified. Not quite 25 gigawatts yet, but we hope that over time, we will get to that number. But around now, we know that there is 19 gigawatts of potential. “If all these projects of about 19 gigawatts of power are developed, they can make over 10 million tonnes per year of green hydrogen, or about 13 million tonnes of green ammonia, or a combination of both, because ammonia is heavier than hydrogen. “So there is the potential to be a huge producer of green products for the world. “It is a very important part of our portfolio. We have made a commitment globally to make 15 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year, much of that will come from Australia, but over 2 million tonnes of this will come from PNG which is a huge percentage of our target. “So the overall vision is to make over 2 million tonnes of green hydrogen from PNG, develop over 19 gigawatts of geothermal and hydropower across the various projects, as well as decarbonise PNG, and have excess for export which is a huge amount to export because PNG won’t need all.  “We will be doing the studies on the hydropower system to optimise the design of the hydropower dams phase process. So the first Purari sites will be 3 gigawatts. And then there will be stage by stage development – upper Purari, Strickland and others to get to the total of 15 gigawatts. So that does not all happen at once. Start off lower Purari and then others up to 15 gigawatts. “And at the same time, we need to do more investigative work on the geothermal potential. Geothermal exploration is very expensive. So you need to do a lot of fieldwork first to determine where is the drill bit is going to go down to determine the geothermal potential. This is not done in many places around the world because it is so expensive. Tens of millions of dollars per one hole. It is very expensive drilling. We think there are at least 4 gigawatts of geothermal potential that needs to be explored and determined to the best way to develop. “So part of studies is working out the best way to develop the hydropower resource and the geothermal resource. Once we got that renewable power, we need to put the transmission lines to the industrial hub. So of course, in the hydropower, you are linking Strickland, Upper Purari, Lower Purari altogether, so then take the transmission line to the coast where there is a port location. “We are optimising, right now, the best location for the port. We got two or three options. “And then we need to optimise the hydrogen production facility. How many electrolysis do we need to make the best use of power, and that electrolyser will take the renewable power, electrolysis of water – so we need to determine where we getting the water from. Is it going to be seawater, or from the river. And then we have to clean that water up to use for electrolysis. “Electrolysis will make hydrogen with zero emissions. That hydrogen can be used or exported or made into ammonia. This first project that we do, we’ll probably make ammonia because it is easy to transport ammonia.” Because of the lack of information and comprehension of how the process operated, Prime Minister Marape asked Suttleworth to describe the method of producing green hydrogen and green ammonia. These projects are comparable in size to big LNG projects in terms of exploration, building, operation, and revenue creation for the country, and they have received the government's full backing to move forward.   Reference: PM James Marape News Page (5 December 2021). “PNG has potential to become ‘huge’ producer of green products”. 


PNG Business News - November 24, 2021

PM Marape says project agreements signed are part of continuing due process

Photo credit: PNG PM Media - 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, Port Moresby, 1st September 2020. PRIME Minister Hon. James Marape has once more defended the signing of the agreements with green energy developer Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), clarifying that the agreements are part of the process of meeting due diligence as the projects progressed from stage to stage. While saying this, the Prime Minister cautioned Members of Parliament to be sensitive to potential investors in their “attack” on them on the Floor of Parliament, as, he said growing the country’s economy came on the back of foreign investment and this should be treated with a bipartisan approach by both sides of the House. The Prime Minister was speaking today in Parliament while answering questions raised by the Opposition Leader Belden Namah, who inferred the FFI hydro and geothermal projects with Dr. Andrew Forrest were “rushed”, asking if these have gone through due process, while questioning the credentials of this leading Australian investor. PM Marape said Dr. Forrest was a very successful businessman, a global figure mining and now in the green energy space, likening him to Elon Musk – both of whom, the PM said, were frontier-breaking, research-based innovators.   He said of Namah’s assertions: “Just because we are pitching out with the investor does not mean that we have already agreed (in full). Due diligence has to take its course; the process of government will have to take its course. “I want to assure the Opposition leader that there will not be a deal that we will rush into at the expense of our country’s security, sovereignty and economic gain. Our country is littered with too many experiences of things going wrong because of processes not being followed. “I want to give this assurance – we will not rush into this because we have just signed an agreement. MOUs and MOAs are all part of the due process that will eventually be cleared by all our state entities, including the state lawyers to get the final product for business that is mutually beneficial to the investors and our country. “I make one reference to Porgera as a case in point. When we sat to make a commercial agreement with Barrick, we out-laid to them our principles; and they subscribed to our principles. We did not compromise legacy issues. We would ensure that we have the greater project benefits to our country. And so the commercial negotiations were agreed upon; and then we went into the due processes – for instance the framework agreement signed, then the commencement agreement signed, and then subsidiary to the commencement agreement, there will be joint venture company agreement set up. “So at every stage of the process, all instrumentalities of government are put in place…and there are opportunities for review,” said the Prime Minister. To Namah’s question on why the signing took place in Glasgow, the Prime Minister said this happened as a part of the United Nations climate summit (COP26) events because of the nature of the summit and global consciousness to move into environmentally friendly energy sources as advocated for through the summit. PM Marape said Dr. Forrest’s intention to invest in PNG was based on his proposal, part of which was the aim to harvest some 25 gigawatts of power by turning these into green energy for both internal consumption and export. “When you have proposal on foot to harvest 25 gigawatts of power from our hydro and geothermal potentials – that’s about five or six PNGLNGs in one basket; it is a concept worth looking at.” The Prime Minister said his Government was not time-bound by elections and years in office so that because of the elections, it cannot take on these sorts of projects and progress them. “When we took government, we said we will deliver as many projects as possible to ensure direct foreign investments into the country.” He said for the FFI agreement was not only for Purari but for the whole Purari River basin and systems just as it was for geothermal potential covering selected sites in West New Britain.   Article courtesy of PM James Marape News Page


PNG Business News - November 23, 2021

PM Marape opens K83 million electricity project in East New Britain

Photo credit: PM Marape News Page - Warangoi project Prime Minister Hon. James Marape recently opened the K83 million 10 Megawatt Warangoi PNG Power Ltd (PPL) Hydro Power Project Major Rehabilitation Project in rural Pomio, East New Britain, with an assurance to landowners that they would be paid the K5 million they wanted for use of their land and water. He was accompanied by East New Britain Governor Hon. Nakikus Konga, Pomio MP Hon. Elias Kapavore, Health Minister and Gazelle MP Hon. Jelta Wong, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Hon. John Simon, Correctional Services Minister Hon. Win Daki, Kumul Consolidated Holdings Ltd Chairman Moses Maladina and Acting Managing-Director Prof. David Kavanamur, and PPL Acting Chief Executive Officer Obed Batia. Rehabilitation of the project was made possible through the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the GoPNG co-funded Town Electrification Investment Programme, with the contractors being Dongfang Electric Corp and AG Investments JV. It will boost up the low production of Warongoi hydropower facility, which was originally commissioned in 1983, but has been supplying below its rated capacity of 10MW for the last 10 years into the Gazelle Grid. PM Marape thanked local landowners for allowing electricity to flow to East New Britain for the last 39 years without demanding compensation. “Power generation from here has produced so many economic benefits for East New Britain,” he said. “To the people of Sinivit, to the people of Baining, your Government will not let you down (in the K5 million they asked for).” PM Marape appealed to the landowners to organise themselves – like their counterparts at Yonki in Eastern Highlands and Rouna in Central – to benefit from the funds instead of just a few people benefitting. He asked them to do this in preparation for the next phase of the project further up the Warangoi River. PM Marape said this was part of the Pangu Pati’s flagship policy of creating “economic independence” for the people of PNG PM Marape described East New Britain as “a very important part of our country” in the non-extractive industries such as agriculture, tourism, fisheries and sustainable forestry. “In that context, we come to East New Britain not by accident, but by choice, because this is a very good foundation province  to anchor our focus on rural-based industries like agriculture and downstream processing,” he said. “All of this will depend on reliable power, reliable infrastructure and reliable Internet.”   Article courtesy of PM Marape News Page 


PNG Business News - November 19, 2021


Photo credit: Loop PNG PNG Power is riddled with so much accumulative problems that have made it a “sick organisation”, but reforms are currently underway, Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says. These include the installation of its full board, and a restructure of the company to separate power generation, transmission, and retail business. In addition, the Government is also sourcing additional funding to recapitalize many State-Owned Enterprises including a $250million ADB facility, part of which should rescue the power company.  Prime Minister Marape said this as he explained PNG Power's situation in light of the continuous power outages Port Moresby has been facing lately. He was responding to the Member for Abau Sir Puka Temu in Parliament today. Sir Puka brought to the attention of Parliament PNG Power concerns and asked for a response from the Prime Minister. Areas he raised was the need for a board to manage the power authority, the need for an immediate audit of power infrastructure, a request for a provision of K70 million in the 2022 budget to cater for PNG Power, the loss of revenue up to K25million a month through power theft, and a call to connect power to Central province town, Kwikila, so power could be extended to his electorate of Abau. On the issue of putting in place a board for PNG Power, PM Marape said two positions were still needing to be filled and the Government was looking into this, including the audit of PNG Power infrastructure. The Prime Minister said the debts, outstanding arrears and contracts have accumulated so much over time that it has taken the Government well over K2 billion to clear the debts including a K105 million that was paid to PNG power for state bills that has accumulated over many years. “These organisations (PNG Power, Water PNG, Telikom and Air Niugini) are operating at a loss. Almost half, if not 60-70 percent, of our users are not very good paying users,” said the Prime Minister. “These are the inherent weaknesses that we have inherited and taken in. We have tried our best to clean the debts. “We are giving support to these SOEs. Despite the weaknesses that they carry, they still remain focused in contributing to serve our country.” PM Marape said in the last 3 years, NiuPower has come on board and with Dirio is supplying Central and NCD with up to 27 megawatt. “There are teething issues as far as step up – the uplift of the power and feed  into the grid. There is no connectivity to Moresby because the current connection from the existing generation site where Dirio and NiuPower are existing side by side can only uplift what is being generated by Exxon Mobil and NiuPower. “The latest bout of blackouts are from the fact that NiuPower has had to switch off supply for non-payments of bills for the last four years. I have asked them to not switch power off again.” But PM Marape gave the reassurance that the $250 million ADB program was coming soon for all State Owned Enterprises and “PNG Power will receive a substantial amount of allocation to make big intervention”. He also gave the assurance that the SOE ministry would be making some big announcements in this area, including new boards and a new direction for the power body. For the power connection to Kwikila, the Prime Minister said the Connect PNG program will carry through the Milne Bay-Central road link which will have on its back power connection facilities to also supply Abau electorate and those in the Central province.   Article courtesy of Department of PM&NEC

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PNG Business News - November 18, 2021

Fortescue Future Industries Wants to Fast Track Green Energy projects in PNG

According to Julie Shuttleworth, chief executive officer of Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), the company is working with the government to accelerate the energy transition before 2050. “The FFI is partnering with PNG, one of the most renewable energy-rich countries in the world, to develop multiple large-scale green energy and green hydrogen projects,” Shuttleworth said. “This new partnership marks the beginning of the green industry development in PNG and will enable FFI to undertake feasibility studies to develop up to seven hydropower projects and 11 major geothermal energy projects in PNG. “If the projects proceed, it will generate renewable electricity for the purpose of producing green hydrogen and green ammonia, creating a significant new domestic energy and export industry for Papua New Guinea, which currently heavily relies on imported oil. PNG’s intent is to use 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050 and we are delighted to be working with PNG to support this ambition.” She stated that the FFI was dedicated to assisting PNG in lowering its dependency on fossil fuels and leveraging its renewable energy potential. “Our green energy vision for PNG would lead to more jobs, a stronger economy, thriving communities and importantly, lower emissions for PNG,” Shuttleworth added.   Reference: The National (12 November 2021). “Partners aim to fast track green energy”.


PNG Business News - November 11, 2021


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 -] "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, 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. [1] ~ 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)" [1]    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." [1] 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. [1] 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 - Photo credit: Volcano in PNG – Tavurvur volcano, Rabaul, New Britain Island - by Eric Lafforgue Photography -


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”.

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