Water, power supply disruptions affecting operations: Chamber


WATER and power supply disruptions cost businesses a significant amount, especially those in the manufacturing sector, according to the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Chamber president Rio Fiocco said the operation costs were increasing because of the ongoing power and water supply disruptions in Port Moresby, especially for electricity as they had to pay extra for generator fuel.
He said the manufacturing companies were the hardest hit.
“In terms of power, it has been widely reported the government’s outstanding dues to PNG Power Ltd.
“It needs to pay its debts,” Fiocco said.
The ANZ Bank previously said electricity supply problems were affecting businesses, and constraining growth. Managing director Mark Baker told The National that it was “mainly a cost issue for us and many businesses”.
“We cannot afford to have interruptions to power supply,” Baker said.
“(We) need to have to reliable generators and UPS systems to maintain operations at all times.
“Investment in modernising the power system is critical.
“Without reliable and cheap power, business growth will be constrained, whether an SME or a larger company.”
Brian Bell Group said money spent on fuel last year due to the outages was around K300,000.
The company has a strong power back-up plan for its operation but power outages impacted trade and increased costs, especially the refuelling and servicing of generators.
Chief executive officer Cameron Mackellar said power outages were becoming more frequent which was bad.
“We spent more than K300,000 in generator fuel across the group in 2020. And you need a generator when you don’t have power,” he said.
“This was nearly twice as much as we spent in 2019.
“Servicing and maintaining or replacing generators is an added cost as well.”