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June 25, 2021
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NGO weighs in debate on whether the government should look to coal as an energy source

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By Adelaide Sirox kari – EMTV News, Port Moresby

With moves by an Australian company to establish a coal mine and coal-powered power plant in Morobe Province, a Non-Government Organization is calling on the Government to reject this proposal.

Recently, Energy Minister Sam Basil said he would support the Coal Company as Morobe Province faces issues of reliable Electricity supply.

But the proposal of the coal mine and power plant goes against the PNG government stance in the fight against Climate Change, and the Paris Agreement, which was signed at COP 21 at the end of 2015.

Today, Energy Minister, Sam Basil gave his full support for PNG to look to Coal as an energy source.

The Department of Energy is currently preparing a National Energy Bill that supposedly allows competition within the Energy sector allowing a “Mixed Energy Sources”.

The Bill, expected to be presented to parliament, will also allow for the Australian company, Mayur Resources, to establish a coal power station.

This all comes after PNG Government signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at COP 21 at the end of 2015, stating country’s commitment to the fight against climate change and the reduction of harmful gas emissions.

However, Minister Basil says that shouldn’t be a reason why PNG should not look for cheaper sources of energy to supply its demand for power.

Christen Lohberger from Nogat Coal Org, an organisation dedicated to ensuring a coal mine is not set up in PNG, says Renewable energy is the way forward, and is cheaper than Coal.

Mayur Resource has claimed that the way they propose to burn coal is clean and not harmful to the environment, claims the Minister for Energy Sam basil also reiterates.

At present, PNG Power is the country’s major authorized Energy retailer. Mayur Resources is also awaiting authorization to allow the supply of electricity to PNG Power.

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