Utility costs ‘bad’ for business


The high cost of utilities including water and power has affected businesses and investment in the country, says Deputy Prime Minister and Treasure Charles Abel.
Announcing the Government’s 100-day plan last Friday, Abel said that there were various projects launched to provide cheaper power to major centres in the country.
Abel said among the projects launched was the $US150 million (K477.7mil) 58 megawatt Port Moresby gas power plant jointly funded by Kumul Petroleum Holdings and Oil Search Limited.
He said Oil Search would be providing the primary funding because the KPH would be paying all its dividends to the Government.
The plant will provide the cheapest electricity to PNG Power Limited who then can on-sell it to Port Moresby and bring the average cost per kilowatt hour of power in the
city down and improve reliability of power.
“It makes so much sense, using our own gas which is cleaner and it is cheaper,” Abel said.
Another project is the 30 mw PNG biomass project by Oil Search in Markham Valley. The project is worth $US75million (K238.8mil) and will employ 3,000 workers.
The Ramu 2 180mw hydro power project, which is almost into construction phase, would provide base load power at the cost
of $US500 million (K1.6bil) over six years.
“It’s going to bring in immediate foreign exchange, create employment, labour and all that.”

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