Leader of the People’s National Congress Party, Peter O’Neill has called out Prime Minister James Marape for what he says are false claims regarding the PNG Electrification Partnership (PEP) project that was negotiated during the APEC Summit in 2018.
O’Neill says the PEP was very important outcome from APEC in Papua New Guinea, that had nothing to do with Marape who did not show any interest.
The former Prime Minister in a media statement released today saying Marape does not support the development of off-grid power generation and distribution.
“The PNG Electrification Partnership was driven entirely by our Government and was signed at APEC, but has stalled over the past year as this government has done nothing to expand electrification throughout the country,” Mr. O’Neill said.
“Our APEC partners who signed the US$1.2 billion program have made a clear and honest commitment to deliver this electrification program that was intended to extend connection to electricity for 70 per cent of our people by the year 2030.
“The partners have hundreds of millions of Kina set aside right now to move the project along and connect rural and remote communities, and they have been doing what they can to get their initiatives moving, but have been let down by this government.
“That is why the four partners, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Japan, forced the government to meet with them to try to advance plans to get things moving.”
O’Neill also claims that the government is trying to pull a fast deal on PEP partners .
“To change the project away from off-grid power will mean that remote and rural communities, who are not located near existing power grids, will miss out on receiving electricity under the PEP.
“In making this demand, Marape is standing in the way of investment in sustainable electricity infrastructure for remote and rural communities, such as solar power, hydro-generation and geo-thermal power.”
O’neill further adding that there is wide speculation that the reason for Marape opposing off-grid facilities funded directly through the PEP, is so that he can outsource these contracts using PEP funds to pay his cronies and their connections with dubious power companies.
“This 2025 promise is just another lie to try and create cruel false hope, because it is impossible to expand access to electricity from the current 13 per cent to 70 per cent of the population in just five years.
“That rate of expansion and infrastructure construction is simply unrealistic even for the most advanced countries in the world.
In 2018, PNG hosted the APEC Leaders Summit, with Peter O’Neill as Prime Minister.
“Our partners came to the table in Port Moresby during APEC with our shared goal of delivering electricity to our people who are most in need around the country, and they have been frustrated by the incompetence and corruption of this government.”