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Landowners firm on decision to participate in project

Business

By ELLEN TIAMU
WORK on the Ramu Two hydro power project infrastructure is expected to begin following the receipt of an Incorporated Land Group (ILG) certificate by the Bintip Dampi group in Markham, Morobe.
Chairman of the Bintip Dampi Landowners’ Group Stanley Samar, on behalf of nearly 5000 people incorporated under the ILG, said the certificate was issued by the Department of Lands and Physical Planning on Thursday.
Ramu Two is an infrastructure project managed by Kumul Consolidated Holdings and PNG Power Limited. It was launched in December 2015.
The project site is to be located in the Markham Plains at Watarais.
When completed, it will generate 180 megawatts of renewable energy, making it one of the biggest hydro projects in the country.
It will nearly triple the power output currently produced by the Yonki dam in Eastern Highlands.
The Ramu Two project will be based on a public-private partnership model. It will see traditional landowners assume equity.
Samar said it was exactly what the Markham landowners wanted.
“We do not want to be rent collectors and spectators. We want to be effective and equal project participants,” he said.
He said the Incorporated Land Group certificate would allow the landowners to start negotiating with the government and developers on their benefits.  The people had given 200 hectares of their land for the power processing plant.
Samar said they would be working with the people of Kainantu and Obura Wonenara whose land the Yonki dam was situated on and where the water pipeline would pass through to reach the Markham plant.

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