KCH Re-Energises Purari Hydro With Gulf
Kumul Consolidated Holdings has signed an MoU with the Gulf provincial government to reignite discussions with potential investors for the Purari hydro project.
The legacy project, which has seen its fair share of delays for as long as the pre-independence era, will now see and a new lease of focus through the government’s major commercial entity KCH and the provincial government under Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta.
Public Enterprise and State Investments Minister, Sasindran Muthuvel, said despite Covid-19 and its challenges, there have been opportunities to attract foreign direct investments with KCH also talking to various foreign investors, without any direct commitments have indicated an interest in the Purari project.
Mr Muthuvel added the plight of Gulf as is lacking development, is also nothing new and the opportunity to create an industry with serious investors and reputable companies are showing through KCH taking the lead.
“They are not talking about small power, they are talking about anything from a minimum of 2000 to 5000 megawatts of power which they want to create industries around and create an export market out of PNG."
“That is one project that will not only benefit Gulf provincial and local level governments and the landowners but it will also benefit the entire country because we know that power is a serious need."
Mr Haiveta said the decision to partner KCH to reignite the Purari Hydro project was made in May 2020.
“The MoU represents a positive step in the overall context of development in the country of Gulf province and of the Papuan Region."
“The hydro project gives that opportunity, firstly, to the province where it is basically demand driven private sector investment, and the province will provide the support in terms of getting land, mobilising our people especially landowners local level governments in Baimuru, East Kikori and Ihu to ensure that we provide the space for them to operate whatever the outcome the design of the hydro scheme will be,” Mr Haiveta said.
When asked why Purari has been a difficult project, Mr Haiveta indicated geographically the initial study for the project indicated a dam in the development which he said attracted a lot of opposition from the province and himself considering the ecology encompassing the Purari tributaries upstream.
“If you know in East New Britain and go up to Warongoi that is exactly on a smaller scale, but this is on a bigger scale that is what we want to see happen.”
Mr Muthuvel indicated whilst the review of the previous studies are needed to estimate cost, he indicated, however, with the magnitude of anticipated generation capacity the cost could reach a few billion dollars.