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January 22, 2021

Agreement Delay Caused More Blackouts In Lae

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A delay in the signing of a lease agreement between the PNG Power, and electricity provider, Aggreko, is contributing to the ongoing power outages in Lae City.

New Zealand Company, Aggreko has set up 12 generator sets, able to generate 12 megawatts of power, but can’t turn on the switches because a formal agreement has not been signed.


Under the agreement, Aggreko will provide backup power for the next 12 months, until permanent generators are assembled in various locations around Lae City. Its a temporary arrangement, meant to ease Lae Citys current 40 megawatt electricity demand, as PNG Power works towards establishing permanent generators in various parts of the city.


But days before the Scottish Company Aggreko, told PNG Power, that the switchover could not happen because formal lease agreements have not been signed.


The delay has angered Lae based PNG power workers, who have come under fire from both the public and the Morobe Governor. “We need those generators, to help ease the blackouts,” said Clement Ravini, a PPL staff spokesman.


Today, workers gathered again at the PNG power headquarters in Lae.  While this isnt a strike, operations have been scaled down. They were waiting for clear directions from Port Moresby, following the controversy created by the sacking of John Tangit, as Chief Executive.


There was more depressing news that PNG power’s accounts are in the red. While the news is something that Port Moresby is dealing with the state of PNG Power assets tell an undeniable story of years of neglect.


At the Milfordhaven power generation facility, only one of its 11 generators is working. The parts from the others are cannibalized to keep it running. In total, this facility is supposed to produce 25 megawatts of power. It can only produce 2.7.


It’s not that PNG power doesn’t have the ability to reduce the number of blackouts. The gensets stand ready, but bringing them into action, requires a few signatures, and those have not yet been signed.


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