The National, Friday June 21st, 2013
By ISAIAH IGISH
A LANDOWNER company in the new Ramu hydro two project has signed a land access agreement with clan members as a leverage for equal participation in a new dam project.
The Ramu hydro project is the fulfilment of a Cabinet decision in May last year, under the O’Neill-Namah regime, for the construction of a new power station (Ramu two) to produce an additional 120 to 180 megawatts of electricity.
It will take the total power generated at Yonki dam from 45 megawatts to between 180 and 240 megawats.
A pre-feasibility study done by PNG Power Ltd estimated the cost of constructing the Ramu hydro two project at K2 billion.
The project would be three times bigger than Yonki dam.
The dam would be built at the head of the Ramu River and its tributaries.
The landowner company, Ramu Hydro Power Ltd, comprises two groups — Yati Group Ltd (Markham, Morobe) and Kapore Investment Ltd (Gadsup, Eastern Highlands).
They brought together clan members to sign the agreement.
Deputy chairman of Ramu Hydro Power Ltd Nelson Yanding Yawising, also chairman of Yati Group Ltd, said the agreement was done to negotiate the ownership of the dam with investors and the Government and also participate in its construction phase.
“After the signing of the land access agreement on June 12, the land is now locked with the landowners,” Yawising said.
“The Government and investors need to come to us to negotiate a way forward for the project.”
He said they had seen what the Government had done to the Arona Vally landowners for Yonki dam and did not want that repeated with them.
“Arona Valley landowners have been left out from the project. They don’t have any share in ownership of the dam which is on their land,” Yawising said.
He said what they were looking for was to adapt a similar model used at the Bayune dam in Bulolo, Morobe.
The dam in Bayune is owned and operated by PNG Forest Products.
PNG Power Ltd buys power from PNG Forest Products under a power purchase agreement, and send the power consumers.