The National, Friday 14th September 2012
By PETER MARTINEZ
MADANG has been selected as the site for a power plant costing about K4.34 billion that aims to service the many mining ventures scattered throughout the region.
Australia’s former Opposition leader John Hewson has put a plan to the Papua New Guinea government for the 500Mw gas-fired power plant and related infrastructure to be built near Madang city.
Hewson’s Shartru Capital Group has joined forces with the PNG-based Bank South Pacific Capital Ltd to establish the power station.
The Madang gas-fired project proposal goes hand-in-hand with a second smaller bio-char project in conjunction with Pacific Pyro.
“It is predicted that there is a requirement of up to 500 megawatts of power within the next two years,” Mike Ryan, BSP Capital head of equities and corporate, said in Port Moresby yesterday.
“Mining operators are currently generating power from diesel generators that are both expensive and polluting.”
Shartru is seeking funding for a feasibility study from a range of PNG government agencies, including the Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) and Department of National Planning and Monitoring.
“Shatru chairman Dr Hewson met with Public Enterprise and State Investment Minister Ben Micah and PNG Power representatives when he was in Port Moresby earlier this week,” Ryan said.
“He was buoyed by the changes that are underway in the state-owned enterprises.
“Minister Micah made comments in his speech at the PNG Business Advantage conference on Monday (in Port Moresby) that showed he is passionate about the potential for infrastructure development in PNG.
“He stated that Government agencies had failed to deliver infrastructure projects both on time and on budget.”
Shartru Capital Ltd and BSP Capital Ltd have submitted a proposal to the IPBC and PNG Power to erect the power station.
“Infrastructure forms the basis for growth in third world economies,” Ryan said.
“It is imperative that PNG puts infrastructure growth near the top of government priorities.
“There is the added possibility that excess power may be sold to PNG Power to service both Madang and Lae.