The National, Friday July 27th, 2012
By GABRIEL LAHOC
PNG Power and Andritz Hydro signed a contract at Yonki to signal the start of the Ramu 1 hydro station rehabilitation and modernisation project after four years of negotiations and preparations.
Andritz representatives, Dr Christian Jagob, Josef Ullmer and Andreas Kronsteiner flew in from Austria to sign the contract with PNG Power chief executive officer Tony Koiri in front of his senior management staff, Independent Public Business Corporation representative Parkop Kurua and the locals of Arona valley, in Yonki town, Eastern Highlands.Andritz Hydro, which first came into the country in the early 1960s through the construction of the Rouna 2 hydro station, in Port Moresby, was selected as the best technically competent firm.“The signing signals the start of the long awaited rehabilitation work aimed at restoring Ramu hydro power station to its former glory,” Koiri said.
“The project duration is 18 months but customers can expect to see improvements in reliability once refurbished units are progressively brought back into service over the period of contract.”
Koiri admitted there were limited opportunities for proper maintenance and that led to the deterioration of the plant, resulting in reduced power output and increased failures.
He said the three-pronged attack in addressing reliability issues would be to increase generation, transmission and distribution.
“Within the next 18 months we will witness the commissioning of the PNG Forest Product 9-megawatts upper Baiune hydro station and the commissioning of our own 18-megawatt Yonki Toe of the Dam hydro station, respectively in November, 2012, and April, 2013,” Koiri said.
Andritz board president Dr Jagob promised the company would do its best to deliver value for money.
The project duration is 18 months.