Private companies to provide power

Main Stories, National

The National, Thursday October 31st, 2013

 PRIVATE companies will be engaged to provide electricity supply to the nation  because of the incompetence of PNG Power Ltd, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.

“From 2014 onwards, when pipeline gas comes on stream, we will start to use some of that gas to produce power, firstly here in Port Moresby,” he told reporters this week.

“Across the country, that is what we’re trying to do – encourage private power producers to come and produce power generation facilities all around the country.

“PNG Power will just focus on buying the power from producers and passing it on to consumers. So PNG Power will become a distribution company.”

O’Neill, who was angry at the PNG Power board and management globetrotting at a time when there was a blackout crisis in the country, said the state-owned enterprise would become a mere distributor.

“To generate power you need hundreds of millions of kina,” he said.

“We don’t have that kind of money and PNG Power does not have that kind of money. So we must get people who have the money to come and build. 

That’s the trend all over the world now.

“We want them to build cheap and clean energy for us, including solar, 

geothermal and hydro, and PNG Power buys from them.

“We’ve been insisting that it must be cheap.

“We already have Kanudi, which is a private power producer, selling to PNG Power at very exorbitant prices. This is why we’re paying fairly high prices.

“We don’t want similar experiences.

“It must be competitive, not one or two suppliers, but quite a range of suppliers so that we can have our options.

“That will hook up onto the grid and we can buy cheaper power.

“That is the set of solutions I’m expecting from PNG Power, not running around in hotels and aeroplanes. Be on the ground and fix it.”