The National – Monday, January 31, 2011
THE interminable power disruptions which cost millions of kina in lost business and damaged assets and much inconvenience has forced the Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) to enter into negotiations with Nambawan Super Ltd to fund additional power generation capacity for Port Moresby.
Minister for Public Enterprises Arthur Somare announced yesterday that the two organisations would sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which would ensure that adequate funding was available to upgrade the system and to minimise the severity of disruptions that have been occurring especially in Port Moresby and Lae.
Somare said he was saddened by recent events that were partly the result of a number of unfortunate incidents that affected electricity supplies in Port Moresby.
There was a loss of generating capacity at the base load Rouna-2 hydropower station and at Kanudi and subsequent flooding just after Christmas worsened the situation. Debris from the floods clogged the intake gate and screen at Rouna-2. There was also a reported fire at the Kanudi-2 engine.
“We cannot let this situation continue. We must rectify these problems and ensure there is adequate generating capacity for Port Moresby and Lae in particular to have stable electricity supplies. The system also requires adequate spinning capacity to avoid major brownouts whenever significant maintenance work is carried out,” Somare said.
“I am hopeful this will now take place under the supervision of IPBC. The MOU with Nambawan Super Ltd provides assurance that the work that needs to be done will start to move forward immediately and not be hampered by financial considerations.”
The arrangement, when signed, will be a big relief for PNG Power which announced last week that power interruptions might continue to 2014 because of lack of funding to attend to urgent maintenance and upgrading work.
Somare said he was also hopeful that electricity supply problems, which have affected Lae and the Highlands grid, would also be resolved this year with completion of work on refurbishment of the Ramu hydro station.
This will be supplemented by backup diesel generating capacity at Taraka (12 MW), Madang (13 MW) and at Goroka (4 MW).