Basil supports coal power plan

Business

By PISAI GUMAR
MINISTER for Energy Sam Basil supports a coal power plant in Lae for cheaper energy and an alternate source of electricity to sustain industrial activities.
He supported Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu and Lae MP John Rosso who signed an agreement with Mayur Resources managing director Paul Mulder last week.
Mayur Resources will spend K300 million to build the power plant and employ 300 people.
“The plant will use clean energy process to produce its emission into the space,” Basil told a press conference yesterday. “It will generate 50 megawatts and sell it for 7.9 cents. Not only will it be cheap power and revenue to provincial government, it will enable the mining of coal in Gulf.
“We will mine coal in Papua New Guinea and create jobs for Gulf people and their provincial government. We must understand that firing our own coal here opens up the mining of coal.
“All the standards of having clean air emission will be applied as in Australia and European countries.” Basil said that a coal power plant would have immense potential, including the steam by-product.
“The steam can be sold to companies like SP Brewery, Coca-Cola, Frabelle and others,” he said. “That can generate K5 million annually to provincial government and Lae City Authority’s purse.”
Basil said Australia was still using coal.
He said Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) had been asking for cheap and reliable powers and the Government was unable to provide alternative power to them.
“I appeal to any power companies that aspire to build power plants in Morobe to involve the provincial government’s business arm, LCA, and landowners,” Basil said. “Otherwise, you will not get local MPs’ support.”
Rosso said 70 per cent of power energy in Australia was generated by coal.
He said in the agreement, after 20 years, shareholding of 25 per cent each would be transferred to LCA and Morobe government.
He said LCCI and University of Technology also supported the initiative.

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