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Bekker: Power Outages in Port Moresby May End in March



The power outages in Port Moresby may end in March.

This was according to PNG Power Limited managing director Flagon Bekker who said that they are working on the transformer at the Port Moresby grid because they couldn’t bring in a new one.

He added that bringing in an expert for the tap changer may not be possible for this time.

“We don’t have the person in the country to do that, hence, we opted to bring a consultant in to put it back in. Of course now when he comes in will sit in quarantine for two weeks but we were looking at an option to bring him in under a bubble so he goes to fix what he needs to do and leaves, “ he said. “But we didn’t do that but replaced the transformer. But that skillset isn’t actually in our organisational chart because it is so rare, as it’s a service that someone else can provide but there’s no one in the country that provides that service that’s why we have to bring it in.”

Bekker said that presently, they are working with significant stakeholders such as the Treasury, IRC, and Finance to bring in a new transformer.

“We believe that by the end of February or March we will be able to take the pressure off but we’re going to have a fragile system, like a chair with two legs,” he said.

Given the static nature of transformers, Bekker said that they require little maintenance and can last up to 50 years. The longer they are used, he said, they need more maintenance and have a greater possibility of repair.

“If a transformer fails in a system, it is detrimental to the overall supply of electricity,” he said. “It goes without saying that transformers for power systems are expensive. With more than 750 power transformers in Port Moresby ranging from K50,000 to K500,000 in cost, it’s difficult to prioritise which piece of equipment gets rehabilitated or replaced. PNG Power is working with donor agencies to improve the Port Moresby transmission and distribution system this year which will gradually improve our service to you in the next 5 years.”

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