US$500m energy project for Hela

The Hela Provincial Government has signed an agreement with a Chinese company for a US$500 million (K1,700m) hydro electrification project.

TBEA Co Ltd, previously known as Tebian Electric Apparatus, is a Chinese manufacturer of power transformers and other electrical equipment, and a developer of transmission projects.

Along with competitors Tianwei Baobian Electric (TWBB) and the XD Group, it is one of the major Chinese manufacturers of transformers.

TBEA chairman Zhang Xin said they are happy to partner with the people of Hela and gave the assurance that the construction of the project will commence next year.

The 160MW power will light up the new province of Hela and other neighbouring provinces.

Named as Hela Hydro, it will use the Tagali River as its dam, according to Hela Governor Philip Undialu.

Governor Undialu said the MoU agreement signed on the eve of the APEC Summit is a shared responsibility to organise themselves and get into basic details of the project.

“The TBEA Group engineers have already visited the project site and we've been working on it for the last five months,” he said.

“This MOU paves way for detailed engineering design, scope and financing plan.

“It makes sense for Hela to make use of the K400 million transmission lines currently under construction by TBEA Group.”

Governor Undialu added that whilst small gas project is under design with MRDC, Hela Province wants to be ahead of planning to meet power demands triggered by a number of projects expected to kick start in a few years’ time.

The signing was witnessed by Finance Minister and Tari-Pori MP James Marape, Minister for Immigration, Border and Security and Koroba Kopiago MP, Petrus Thomas, Komo-Margarima MP Manasseh Makiba and Hela Provincial Administrator William Bando.

Freddy Mou