Lower cost, reliable power for outer centres

PNG Power Limited and the International Finance Corporation have partnered to deliver lower cost and more reliable power to remote and outer island centres not connected to the country’s two main electricity grids.

PNG Power’s Director Strategic Planning and Business Development, Bruce Corbet, signed the agreement with IFC’s Vice President for Asia and the Pacific Nena Stoiljovi, on Tuesday.

Under the agreement, the two organisations will identify ways to stimulate private investment and expertise to boost power generation, including through greater use of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass and gas.

PNG Power acting managing director, Carolyn Blacklock, said PNG Power wants to leverage the global expertise of IFC, knowing that other countries have had great success in utilising the private sector to increase the reliability of power generation.

The IFC Asia and Pacific boss said PNG has one of the most acute energy access challenges in the world and with about 7 million people lacking access, the country’s electric power grid and the IFC want to support the government’s agenda to be 100 percent renewable by 2050.

Meantime, an interim IFC study of PNG’s renewable energy shows there is considerable potential for greater investment in renewable energy but has yet to be developed.

For example, solar and hydro remain PNG’s largest potential resources, yet only a little over 1 percent of hydro potential is being used.

Salome Vincent