By Scott Waide – EMTV News, Kainantu
The State Enterprises Minister, Ben Micah, and a high-powered delegation arrived to a rousing welcome in Kainantu at midday today, to mark the start of the biggest power project since the opening of the Yonki Dam in 1991.
Constructions of the Ramu 2 Power Project will affect three provinces – Eastern Highlands, Madang and Morobe.
Over the next five years, The Papua New Guinea government will be investing millions of Kina at one of the most beautiful locations in Papua New Guinea to build, arguably, the biggest power project in the Pacific outside of Australia and New Zealand.
The Ramu 2 project will be located downstream from the Yonki Dam. Once completed it will triple the amount of electricity supplied from 93MW at present, to more than 270MW.
While this development is being welcomed by most, the construction will see the displacement of both people and entire villages.
Today’s announcement also comes on the back of ongoing talk of the touchy subject of ownership, that has been discussed by Eastern Highlands MPs, many of whom feel that their people have been neglected over the past 40 years.
The government says Ramu 2 will be based on a public-private partnership model which will see traditional landowners also assume equity in the project.
Construction of the Ramu 2 project is expected to begin after initial studies are completed.