Dirio project launched

Business

THE country’s newest power project, Dirio Gas and Power Ltd, proposed to supply Port Moresby with 45 megawatts of power using natural gas from the PNG LNG project was commissioned yesterday.
Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) managing director and chief executive officer Augustine Mano said the commissioning of the project signalled the entry into power generation business for the first time by a nationally-owned company.
“It is a historic moment for landowners and a momentous occasion for the country,” Mano said.
“Dirio is owned by PNG LNG project landowners in Hela, Southern Highlands, Gulf, Western and Central.
“Their provincial governments are also partners in this project. I’m very proud of their decision to undertake this venture.
“The petroleum and energy sector in our country has huge potential in the upstream through to downstream value chain.
“For a long time, business along this value chain has been dominated by foreigners.
“That has to change, and that change begins now.
“Dirio Power is a game changer,” he said.
“The MRDC group and its trustee subsidiaries have the capacity to undertake this business.
“We have secured financing and retained the best expert advice to ensure this power project succeeds.”
Mano said the project was initially scheduled to be launched in July, but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, hence, the switch yard which was ordered from Italy, where it was manufactured, could not be transported to PNG due to the lockdown in Europe and other parts of the world.
“All the vital parts are in place now for us to go ahead with the launch.”
Mano said that the plant would operate three 15MW titan solar turbines, producing a total energy capacity of 45MW.
The company signed a power purchase agreement with PNG Power Ltd last September, agreeing to supply electricity at a price lower than other third party suppliers.
The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission issued an electricity generation licence to the company in January authorising it (Dirio) to generate and sell power to PNG Power.
Dirio aims to deliver cheaper power, making electricity more affordable.
The lower price could potentially lead to a reduction in tariffs for electricity users in the capital city.
“The economic benefit to everyone, businesses and households, from the availability of cheap and reliable power is immense,”Mano said. “I hope we can deliver power to other parts of PNG after its success in Port Moresby.”
The project costs around K350 million, which includes the cost of the turbines, construction of transmission lines and the switch yard.
Prime Minister James Marape, who is a shareholder/trustee of MRDC, officiated the commissioning ceremony.

6 comments

  • Good news for capital
    This should have been a basic condition in the initial MoU for Exxon as part of getting their hands on PNG’s LNG. Better late then never But better never late!
    These sort of conditions must be built into all extractive projects in PNG.
    Happily I believe the PM and his team have that very much in their tussle with renewal of Porgera mine and next LNG etc
    Just like downstream use of timber from logging should be a condition of any timber extraction projects.

    • Totally agree – moving forward conditions such as this/and others to improve living standards/life in general, should be built into MOUs for all our resources (underground, on land, under the sea/in the sea). The PM is on track with getting the wheels spinning in the right direction (reviewing and amending laws under the respective resources, mining, petroleum and should be extended to logging, fisheries, etc) to make this become a reality for the benefit of our local resource owners/landowner and the country.

  • Down stream processing is the way to go to add value to natural products taken out in this natural rich blessed country, either it be valuable metals, fisheries resources, timber, etc etc….Finally, there are wise man among the landowners that have made the right decisions to venture into businesses involving natural resources extracted from their land.

    On the other hand, with the current governments negotiation with natural resource extraction giants in PNG for a equal distribution of economic benefits (e.g. successful negotiation with Barrick Niugini Limited), we are soon to see increase economic benefits from the extraction of our natural resources, something we have been waiting for so long to see happening. Only a strong Government with the heart for its people and a strong negotiation team who cannot compromise easily for the sake of the country, can truly cut a good deal during negotiation.

  • In all resource development across PNG, downstream processing must be the chief among others. PNG must not afford to back down on “peanuts” and give away the natural resources. PNG must get the value worth the resources for the current and generations to come in the future.

  • Thats why it’s important to support a Government that is making an effort in promoting down stream processing. Such project in the extractive industry or Oil & Gas space must ensure that such tangible development must eventuate to serve the domestic market is allowed for in its project agreement.
    Its unfortunate that past Governments have allowed major projects to benefit more than the host country.

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