Burum project to power rest of Morobe
The 200 megawatts (MW) Burum Kuat hydro power project is expected to supply power to the rest of Morobe Province and the multi-million kina Wafi Goplu project.
With the project agreement signing earlier this month to be developed out of Finschhafen district of Morobe, it is estimated to cost in excess of K2 billion, evolved from a cascading scheme delivering more than 200 megawatts (MW) of power over the project life.
The first of the cascading hydro scheme can be delivered within two years estimated to cost between K200 million to K300 million.
Costs will increase as more schemes come online taking up to 10 years to deliver additional schemes, driven by market demand.
The total project costs is estimated to exceed K2 billion comprising a number of run of the river hydro schemes that will be developed over time, again according to market demand.
A combination of equity and loan funding from financial institutions both internally and offshore will cover the cost of funding the project.
Different contractors will be involved at different stages of the projects therefore the nature of the project will require the best in the industry to be engage based on competitive bidding process both locally and internationally.
Initial project partner and contractor, the AG Energy Limited general manager Tobias Kulang said currently the project is in its pre-feasibility stage, having started assessment some six months ago.
Mr Kulang said some level of pre-feasibility studies are carried out already and will continue reaching the full feasibility studies starting thereafter.
He said land acquisition and full feasibility will be the next important processes that need to start as soon as possible.
He said the total population size within the project areas to benefit from the power supplied is yet to be ascertained.
“But overall the power produced will be sold to PNG Power Limited to sell to the wider communities and industries in Lae and rest of Morobe,” Mr Kulang said.
He said major project developments in Morobe province like Wafi Golpu project will be targeted and benefited greatly.
He said the Morobe provincial government, Finschhafen District Development Authority and partner AG Energy Limited are in the process of setting up a Provincial Project Steering Committee (PSC).
This will provide an oversight of all project implementation processes.
“The PSC will include key stakeholders chaired by the provincial administrator, Bart Ipambonj,” Mr Kulang said.
Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu said there has been a lot of project signing and very little has progressed to the actual implementation stage.
He added that the partners in this hydro project are making a serious commitment to ensure the first lot of power is produced two years from now.
“The market is ready and there are willing financial partners on standby. However, land access and government statutory requirement is normally a time consuming process that needs to be dealt with along the way,” Governor Saonu said.