By HELEN TARAWA
PRIME Minister James Marape says PNG Power Ltd (PPL) will eventually not be involved in electricity generation but focused solely on retail and services.
“Five years from now, we want PPL to be a very strong robust power company in line with reforms that are already in place,” he said.
“Power generation will be left to private power suppliers.
“As we strive to produce electricity to meet demand, we will encourage more private power producers and investors.
“In rural and provincial areas, we will look into partnering with provincial governments.
“It is in our interest to make PPL operating like another business instead of another Government charity.
“I believe there is room for private power producers in our country.
“In our interest in gas, we will have a subsidiary with Kumul to engage with Mineral Resources Development Company and the landowners.”
Speaking at the commissioning of the NiuPower plant, an Independent Power Producer (IPP) outside Port Moresby last week, Marape said power generation as well as connectivity was something the Government wanted to embark on.
“As revealed in Budget 2020, one major work that we passed in Parliament was connectivity to our country,” he said.
“So for the next 10 years the Government must connect our country to roads and put up power grids.
“We want to connect Lae to Kerema by road, so must power supply here, in Hides and wherever in Lae or Madang.
“We want to be able to power up Sepik Plains, the Highlands, Morobe, Madang, Lae, Kerema and into Alotau.”
Marape said there was a high possibility for the Government to work with Australia, the US, New Zealand and Japan as committed at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders’ summit in November last year.
“We thank the former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for leading in those negotiations,” he said.
“Presently, they are trying to launch small projects here and there, all over.
“I am asking them, if the majority can partner with us for a national grid.
“If we partner and realise a national grid, then IPPs can be stationed at hydro plants nationwide for efficient supply and networking.
“I am looking at power supply and roads to grow our agriculture , tourism, fisheries and all other industries nationwide.”
By HELEN TARAWA