Then National, Wednesday 12th September, 2012
PRIVATE business interests are being invited to participate in the billion kina Ramu power upgrade designed to eliminate the constant and widespread power blackouts.
The invitation was contained in a speech by Independent Public Business Corporation managing drector Thomas Abe to the Papua New Guinea Business Advantage conference in Port Moresby.
“It is clear that neither PNG Power nor the state has the capital or the borrowing capacity to fund and build Ramu 2, which has a preliminary cost estimate of K2 billion,” he said.
“Therefore, if this and other large projects are to go ahead, private sector participation will be required across the board.
“IPBC is seeking private-sector partners for Ramu 2, for which a K45 million feasibility study is now under way.”
The Yonki project, partly sponsored by IPBC, has three stages.
Phase 1 will see the refurbishment and upgrade of Ramu 1 power station by PNG Power, at a cost of K58 million, to return the station to full operational capacity, which is expected late this year, Abe said.
A second phase estimated to cost about K55 million will be required to complete the refurbishment.
The second project is the Toe of Dam mini-power station which is designed to generate 18 megawatts of electricity from water flowing down the dam spillway that would otherwise not be harnessed.
Construction began in 2009 but was suspended owing to problems with the contractors and is now resumed by PNG Power.
Abe said: “Our long-term aim is to increase power supply to the region to allow the development of new resource projects, promote economic development and increase the standard of living of the people.
“IPBC is encouraging private-sector involvement in projects wherever possible.”