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August 12, 2020
Featured International News

Coal vs Diesel

By Adelaide Sirox Kari – EMTV News, Port  Moresby

‘Mixed energy’, that’s what Mayur Resources Managing Director Paul Mulder says the company wants to bring to PNG.

Mr. Mulder says they will not only look to coal for energy but, solar, biomass and the prospect of gas.

The energy company was responding to the EMTV News report on the proposal, of building a Coal Power Station in Lae’s Tidal Basin.

But Christen Lohberger from Nogat Coal told EMTV News, the power station would go against the Paris Agreement for countries to reduce gas emissions and is impractical, as renewable energy is cheaper than coal in today’s market.

Mayur Resources arguing Lohbergers personal interest in diesel engines.

Lae city, the industrial hub of PNG, has had a major issue with electricity supply from the PNG Power Ramu grid (Hydro).

Back-up diesel engine generators have been a lifeline and a burden for most businesses, as it is costly. Lohberger Engineering owned by Christian Lohbeger’s family, supplies diesel engines to businesses in Lae.

Mr. Mulder says diesel isn’t clean also, and coal with biomass material will provide a cleaner option using Circulating Fluidised Bed Combustion Boiler.

The circulating Fluidised Bed Combustion Mr. Mulder is referring to, is specifically designed with a scrubber to remove and lower emissions of sulfur oxide, nitrous oxide, and particulate matters which are responsible for serious damages to the environment and to health of people. But studies find that it does not reduce CO2 emission, that add on to greenhouse gas emissions.

An example of the CFBC Coal biomass boiler proposed by the Mayur Resources

Mr Mulder says otherwise, stating the European Technology Mayur will be using, also reduces CO2 emissions and there would be no need for a Carbon  Capture Storage Facility. As a Carbon Capture Storage Facility would add on to the cost of the electricity being supplied.

So what burns more harmful gases into the atmosphere, Coal or Diesel?

The IPCC Special Report on renewable sources and climate change mitigation from data collected from more than 50 papers, found that Coal emits more CO2 than Oil, as seen in the graph below.

PNG Power Limited, the country’s electricity supplier has looked to hydro and diesel. They have also made statements that they are looking to renewable energy.

EMTV News can confirm that Mayur resources have submitted a Power Purchase Agreement to PNG Power and have not had a response from PNG Power as of yet.

And so, the debate continues, on whether PNG should look to Coal as a source of electricity, as the country faces serious electricity issues, as only 30% of the population has access to electricity. Or stand with other Pacific nations to reduce gas emissions.

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