PNG’s First Biomass Electricity Agreement Signed

By Quinton Alomp – EM TV News, Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea’s first biomass electricity project in the Markham Valley, Morobe Province, will commence next year.

Developer, New Guinea (Petroleum) Limited, a subsidiary of Oil Search Limited (70 per cent) and Aligned Energy (30 per cent), signed the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with PNG Power Limited today.

The project will use wood chips to produce electricity for Lae and Markham.

After several years of nursery research, trials and engineering assessments, between Markham Valley landowners, PNG Forest Research Institute, and the PNG Forest Authority, the agreement will enable the developer to harvest trees, process them and use the chips to provide cheap and reliable base load biomass power for Lae city.

Oil Search Managing Director, Peter Botten, said Papua New Guinea is the leader in renewable energy among the developing countries in the Pacific using the best practice.

“We have been exploring the potential for the Markham Valley Biomass project and for cost effective gas fired generation in the Highlands for a number of years, as part of our commitment to work with PPL to provide household consumers and businesses with reliable electricity in PNG.

“The agreements announced today represent a tangible step forward in providing cost-effective, reliable and socially sustainable supplies of power to the country,” Botten said.

The Biomass project will supply an additional 30 megawatts of biomass-fired based load power to the Ramu grid.

Oil Search also signed another PPA with PNG Power, for a pilot project to supply electricity in Tari and Hides areas in the Hela Province.

This project will use gas as its primary source of energy. It will produce two megawatts with a long-term goal to increase to 65 megawatts by 2030.

For Port Moresby, waste disposal at the Baruni dump will be used to generate two megawatts of power to the city.

The Landfill Energies Limited Chairman, Del Smeeton, said the project will start next year.

They will use industrial rubbish to produce electricity.

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