Purari to source biggest power project

National, Normal

The National – Tuesday, December 14, 2010

IT will be history in the making for PNG when an 1,800 megawatt (MW) hydropower project is set up on the Purari River in Gulf.
The project is an initiative of PNG Energy Developments Ltd (PNGEDL) which is a joint venture between the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP) and Origin Energy of Australia.
PNGEDL chief executive officer Dr Michael Leggo revealed this yesterday when announcing the tenders for the technical, environmental and sociological studies of the 1800MW hydroelectricity project.
“The country is taking a major step towards providing sustainable electricity for large scale industrial development in Gulf and Western, which will also benefit towns and villages in remoter parts of the country,” he said.
He said the tender was being let by PNGEDL and was a significant step in making PNG self-sufficient in electric power.
“The project is consistent with the government’s plan to upgrade current hydroelectricity plants operated by PNG Power Ltd and approve the construction and operation of hydro plants in other parts of the country.
“In addition to major ports and industrial developments in Gulf and Western provinces, we are also hopeful that in conjunction with our Joint venture partners Origin Limited we will be able to export power to Northern Australia,” Leggo said.
He added such projects could have life spans of 70 years or more, adding that the export of power at commercial prices would generate a long-term revenue stream for the government and the people of PNG.
“This revenue stream would replace revenues from current mining ventures as their productions decline,” Leggo said.