Blackouts Drive-Up Costs

Lae City’s water supplier, WaterPNG, has revealed that&nbsptheir fuel cost for the month of Novermber has doubled as a result of frequent power blackouts.


The state owned company says&nbspthey also expect maintenance costs oftheir generators to also rise if blackouts continue.


WaterPNG has seven generators;&nbspthe company has an existing understanding with PNG power to have continuous power even when ther areas are experiencing outages.


The generators are swithched on only whenthere is a serious power problem.


Bet towardsthe end of last month,&nbspthey were hit hard and costs have gone up, John Agavi, a Senior Manager in Lae says it’s hurtingtheir operations.


“Our gen-sets are not programed to run continuously,they are programed on an intermittent period,” he said.

Atthe watePNG treatment plant at East Taraka,&nbspthey have to keep at least four pumps running 24 hours a day, seven days a week sothe city of five hundred thousand people will have water.  


That means a generator has to be turned on for extended periods whenthere’s a blackout.


Overthe last week,the frequency of blackouts has increased.  In October,&nbspthe plant spent 18 thousand kina on fuel. In Novermber, that amount jumped to 36 thousand kina in just one month.


PNG power released a statement this week sayingthe blackouts are due to faults atthe Ramu power generation facility and thatthe company hopes to havethe problem resolved soon. 


WaterPNG is just one company that has highlightedthe effects&nbspthe power blackouts are having ontheir businesses.


Manufactures are also feelingthe pinch.&nbspIn September, chicken supplier, Zenag lost 20 thousand chickens   when a power surge after a blackout destroyed an automatic cooling system.  It costthe business 400 thousand kina.

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