By clifford faiparik
The national government has released K1.5 million to connect electricity from Indonesia to the Papua New Guinea villages in West Sepik, National Planning Minister Richard Maru says.
The electricity from Indonesia that will be connected on Monday would also help West Sepik people to host the international Long Board Championship in October.
“The 42km project is estimated to cost around K5 million. In supporting PNG Power Limited (PPL), the government has released K1.5 million to fund the transmission line,” Maru said. “Options to fund the balance of K3.5 million are being sourced. Work on the project will start on Monday.
“The first phase of the project is to connect Lido to Vanimo and Wutung villages and the Border complex to the PLN (Indonesian State company Perusahaan Listrik Negara) supply across the border. Then work will progress to connect Wutung to Lido and is expected to be completed by the end of the year”.
Maru said the government was helping PPL to connect Wutung to Vanimo to supply power to around 10,000 people living in five villages of Lido, Waromo, Yako, Mushu, and Wutung located along the transmission powerline corridor.
Maru said Lido village, located around eight kilometres from Vanimo town, was the venue of 2018 Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships to be staged in October.
“It is very important that Lido is connected because around October 120 million people worldwide will be watching the championships where Lido and PNG will be on display,” he said.
Maru said it would be an historic arrangement and for the first time, PPL was considering buying power from the Indonesian State company PLN.
Provisioning of this power would be governed through a power purchase agreement (PPA) between PPL and PLN with initial indications that the rate offered by PLN is very competitive.
With the agreement in place the government was excited about the fact that with a cheaper rate, Vanimo operations for PPL will become profitable.
The government appealed to the landowners to be accommodating in this initiative of lighting up the west coast of Vanimo for the first time since Independence.
By clifford faiparik