By SHIRLEY MAULUDU
PAPUA New Guinea is under-explored in terms of the development of geothermal energy, Public Enterprises and State Investment Minister William Duma says.
Duma was speaking during the signing of a geothermal deed of agreement between the State and Australian firm Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) on Tuesday.
“Comparatively, Papua New Guinea is under-explored,” he said.
“If a geothermal location is to be determined to be viable for commercialisation, then, of course, Fortescue will apply for all the necessary licenses required for each province in accordance with the applicable legislation which the company is aware of.”
According to Duma, Fortescue Future Industries had identified several areas around our country where geothermal resources existed and this had the potential to produce up to 10 gigawatts of electricity. He said provinces in the country that had geothermal potential were West New Britain with a caldera (Mt Talawe) in Talasea; Milne Bay which had areas of interest on Fergusson, Goodenough and Normanby islands; Northern with Mt Lamington; Madang which had resources on Karkar, Long and Manam islands; East Sepik with islands of Bam, Blup Blup and Kairiru; and, Morobe with parts of Bulolo and Wau, the McAdam National Park and the islands of Siassi and Umboi. Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCHL) signed the agreement with FFI on behalf of the State.
KCHL managing director Isikeli Taureka told The National the agreement that they had entered into with Fortescue was to look at areas of interest in the country.
He said Fortescue would then go out and do additional work to find out the capacity of the geothermal sites that had been identified.
Taureka said once feasible sites were confirmed, the developer and the State would then sign a project agreement which would outline what each party was to do to develop the resource and what the benefits to stakeholders would be.
He said the geothermal sites could be harnessed for power and this in turn would lead to other development in the areas such as roads and other infrastructure.
“Our side is to make sure that all the Government laws and permits are complied with.”
By SHIRLEY MAULUDU