Undialu welcomes signing of power deal

Highlands

HELA Governor Philip Undialu has welcomed the signing of an agreement with a power company from China to connect electricity to homes.
The agreement was signed last weekend with the Tebian Electric Apparatus Stock Company Limited to develop a 160 megawatt hydro scheme along the Tagali River in Hela for between US$300 million and US$500 million (about K1.6bil).
Undialu signed on behalf of Hela with company chairman Zhang Xin who was part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s delegation to the Apec Leaders’ Summit.
“It is China’s leading power transformer manufacturer and has the capacity and experience. We are honoured to partner them in the Hela hydro-power project,” Undialu said.
The project proposal was done in 2013 under former Hela Governor Anderson Agiru.
“It was estimated to cost around US$300 million to US$400 million, but due to lack of funding, the project was shelved. Another factor was lack of transmission highway to the main Ramu Grid,” he said.
“Fortunately, the Government has already funded the K400 million transmission lines from Mt Hagen to Tari.
“The TBEA Group is the contractor. So work has already started and in two and half years, we will have the power line running 180km.”
“This gives Hela a rare opportunity to relook at the proposal. But Hela alone cannot do it. We lack funding and technical capacity to do it ourselves.”

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