by Delly Waigeno – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The demand for domestic power is forecast to increase in the future as Papua New Guinea experiences growth in its economy.
The country is already facing a chronic power shortage, mainly due to aging power facilities and a lack of maintanence.
To address this, a power study has been conducted with assistance by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It is expected to see the Ramu system developed and contribute towards an increased power supply in the Highlands and Momase regions.
The third joint committee meeting was held this morning in Port Moresby between PNG Power and JICA.
The meeting pointed out that the Ramu system, which supplies power to the Highlands region, Madang and Lae is unstable and has been subjected to frequent power interruptions.
The meeting discussed ongoing progress on the two projects funded by JICA which will help to stabilise future power supply. The two projects are the Ramu System Power Development Master Plan and the Lae Area Distribution Network Improvement Plan.
Director Energy Division and Deputy Secretary for the Department of Petroleum and Energy, Vore Veve, reiterated that the government wants to see 70 per cent of Papua New Guinean’s with access to reliable and affordable electricity by 2050.
So far, some of the recommendations include the replacement of aging facilities as an urgent counter measure, and the divergence of power supply such as a natural gas turbine and biomass for stable power supply.
Chief Representative of the JICA PNG Office, Shigeru Sugiyama, said the projects will require a huge amount of investment.
The final report will be released after comments from today’s meeting will be incorporated. The report will be made available on the JICA website.