By LUKE KAMA
THE construction of a 58-megawatt gas-fired power plant at the cost of more than US$100 million (K341million) by NiuPower Ltd outside Port Moresby is almost 90 per cent complete, according to the company.
This was revealed during a visit to the plant at Napanapa yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Charles Abel, Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd (KPHL) managing director Wapu Sonk and Oil Search Ltd (OSL) managing director Peter Botten.
NiuPower Ltd is a new business venture between State-owned KPHL and OSL through a 50:50 shareholding to build and operate the new power plant called Port Moresby Power.
NiuPower project director Michael Krause said construction work was 90 per cent completed and the contractors were looking at handing over the keys of the new power plant to NiuPower towards the end of next month.
“The contractor, Clough Ltd, which has executed the contract on our behalf has done exceptionally well over the last 11 months,” he said.
“We are very grateful for their performance to date and we look forward to completion and handing over of the plant keys to NiuPower by December.”
Krause said they were looking forward to providing clean, reliable and low-cost green energy into the Port Moresby grid to meet the ever-increasing electricity demands through a power purchase agreement with PNG Power Ltd.
Abel said the construction of the gas-fired power plant marked the beginning of an important process of utilising the country’s own resources for maximum benefits.
“Converting our gas resource to usable energy for our people is more affordable, clean, and reliable,” he said. “It is also done at lower costs.
“This was what the Government had been planning for some time including the 25-point plan after the 2017 national election. We are very pleased that Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd, the State-owned company, and Oil Search Ltd, one of the eminent Papua New Guinean companies, has begun the important processes of utilising our own resources.”
Abel said the plant was expected to be commissioned around January next year.
It will be able to supply 58MW of power into the Port Moresby grid at a significantly-lower cost compared to what is generated from diesel-powered plants at the moment.
“This will be cleaner and importantly, generated affordably from our own gas resources from the PNG LNG project,” Abel said.
By LUKE KAMA