PAPUA New Guinea has been classified as a small island developing state.
It faces many environmental problems and social difficulties.
One of the key pillars of PNG Vision 2050 is environmental sustainability and climate change.
Morobe leaders proposed coal to generate electricity.
Is coal sustainable, renewable or environmently friendly?
Morobe leaders are so concerned about how coal is much cheaper and the coal power plant is quick to build.
Well, the last time I checked, cheap and quick won’t address climate change which is a major discussion in next month’s Apec Leaders’ Summit in Port Moresby.
PNG should now do away with fossil fuels and invest in renewable electricity generation projects such as solar, hydro and biogas.
Most of us are familiar with solar and hydro power generation but little do we know about the biogas for electricity generation that has an untapped potential and offers a clean green and sustainable source of energy which is ideal for the environment.
The biogas project contributes to the sustainable use of the country’s resources and uses technology that until now has been virtually unheard of in Papua New Guinea.
NBPOL has two biogas projects in Kimbe – Mosa and Kumbango Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) capture projects.
They are small-scale projects for now but have the potential to expand significantly with the full support of the government, the customary landowners and external stakeholders.
Biogas comes from anaerobic (occurring in the absence of oxygen) decomposition of organic matter.
In this case, from palm oil production waste which is treated in open anaerobic ponds.
The anaerobic treatment process produces methane gas.
So instead of open ponds where methane is released into the atmosphere, the waste water (effluent) resulting from the processing of palm oil is stored in the CIGAR (Covered In-Ground Anaerobic Reactor) plant.
The plant captures the methane and combusts it in an engine to produce electricity.
This process also reduces the emission of methane into the atmosphere.
Methane is a greenhouse gas which is about 20 times more harmful than carbon dioxide.
The Mosa and Kumbango projects are small-scale projects but they currently supply electricity to power the NBPOL facilities in Kimbe.
PNG Power Limited also buys biogas from NBPOL to boost its power supply throughout West New Britain Province.
If our parliamentary leaders have the ability to look 10 kilometres further instead of 10 metres then our grandkids and their kids will look back and be proud of us.