Consumer watchdog to address cost of energy

The National, Tuesday July 12th, 2016

Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) and PNG Power Ltd are working on a least-cost generation option to address the price of energy in the country.
ICCC principal technical analyst (electricity) Simon Augustine in response to businesses criticising the high cost of electricity in the country, said PPL no longer had the monopoly on energy supply.
“We are looking at all the source generation technology and then we will select the least-cost option to use. That is one good thing that ICCC is currently doing in the implementation stage. It will take time to see a reduction in the tariff,” he said.
“Any company wishing to sell power to PNG has to do so below the reference price. At this stage, gas is the cheapest generation option but ICCC is working with PNG to review the reference price.
Hydro, thermal and solar and gas are examples of power generation sources that are currently being considered.
“It will take time and we cannot forego the diesel generators because we might lose the services being provided to other centres,” Augustine said.
“The generation market is being open so we will review a contract with PPL next year and look at reviewing the exclusivity right.”
Augustine said PPL’s main aim was to provide service to its citizens and it only made profits from its three major centres which are hydro-based, Ramu, Gazelle and Port Moresby systems.
“Once we start to emphasise on the cheaper options of generation technology, we can see a reduction in tariff.
“If we keep on producing power with diesel, then we cannot achieve reduction of tariff.