The project involves the construction of a 6 megawatts (MW) hydro power facility on the upper reaches of the Simbu River, and aims to supply power to the PNG Power Limited grid through the power purchase agreement.
The project has a very strong support from the Simbu Provincial Government, the Kundiawa-Gembogl District and landowners.
The developer, AG Investment Limited has significant experience in PNG and overseas in developing construction and hydro power projects.
The application was submitted to CEPA in March this year.
CEPA managing director Gunther Joku said that during the consultation, the landowners were in full support of the project and wanted it to kick of immediately.
“We received the application as per the environment act legislation and its requirements and we subjected the application through the normal review and assessment and it has met all requirements,” Joku said.
The project comprises 2 x 3MW turbines which will generate 43.2wh per annum.
The estimated capital costs, including capitalized interest, are K72 million. The construction period is expected to be 20 months.
Member for Kundiawa-Gembogl and Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Tobias Kulang thanked CEPA for the positive collaboration for the timely issuance of the permit.
Kulang confirmed that the landowners have agreed to provide access to their land in return for equity in the project which provides them with direct financial benefits from the sustainable use of their natural resources.
Kulang said this project will greatly help the power blackouts issue faced in the province and PNG Power confirmed that they need this 6MW to 12MW of power to stabalise the power supply.
The project represents the first stage of a longer term plan to expand the hydro project to meet the assessed capacity of 181MW.