By PISAI GUMAR
Morobe government aims to acquire equity in Wafi-Golpu mine and Ramu II hydro power project because of their economic potential, Governor Ginson Saonu says.
Saonu told the Tutumang (provincial assembly) on Tuesday that the National Government, in its 100-Day Plan, had identified Wafi-Golpu, Ramu II and Wagang Fisheries as important investments.
Saonu said the projects offered strategic potential in financial empowerment to the province.
He said Wafi-Golpu submitted its special mining lease application in 2016, which was pending technical clearance from Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) and Conservation and Environment Protection Authority for mining and environment.
Saonu said the estimated cost of the project was US$4.5 billion (K14.5 bil).
“As per the Mining Act, the state has the option to acquire 30 per cent equity, therefore, as the host provincial resource owners, on behalf of the landowners, the MPG have the opportunity to request for equity sharing” Saonu said.
The Tutumang endorsed Saonu’s submission during the first session of 2018 on Tuesday to seek approval from Prime
Minister Peter O’Neill and his Cabinet.
Meanwhile, the Ramu II Hydro project is expected to generate 180 megawatts, with the main distribution facilities to be located at villages within Umi-Atzera local level government.
Cabinet has approved Shenzhen Energy Group Company Ltd and Sino Hydro Corporation Ltd (Consortium) to develop the project.
Saonu said the developers would partner with the government to develop the project under the build-operate-transfer arrangement.
The NEC has also approved Eastern Highlands and Morobe for equal shares in 30 per cent State equity participation.
Saonu said capital investment for the project was US$900 million (K2.9bil) and the 30 per cent State equity would equate to US$270 million (K871mil).
The 15 per cent share equity for Eastern Highlands and Morobe is estimated to be K450 million respectively.
By PISAI GUMAR