29 Nov 2005

PNG power company confident of expansion project

4:30 pm on 29 November 2005

The chief executive of PNG Sustainable Energy Limited is confident that a landmark electrification project will not be disrupted by the vandalism which has plagued power operations in the past.

The acting Prime Minister and Minister for Petroleum and Energy, Sir Moi Avei, has signed an agreement with the company for an electrification programme worth 661 milllion US dollars.

The agreement followed a proposal to the government to expand the delivery of power to small urban centres and rural communities.

The proposal involved the construction of a high voltage transmission line from Tabubil to the Hides gas field and onto the current highlands grid, which would be reinforced and then extended to the proposed Ramu nickel refinery near Madang.

PNG SEL's Peter Martin says locals are behind the project.

"We have a significant landowner participation in each of the projects we develop. The landowners, through their participation, they have a duty of care. We're getting a very good response from those landowners. And the other thing is to make sure that communities along each of these new transmission lines do have access to power. Access to power is one of the critical things in Papua New Guinea."