PNG Power should diversify sources: Japan

The final study into the Ramu System Power Development plan recommends for PNG Power to look at alternative ways to generate electricity, apart from the current practice of hydro and diesel generators.

Currently the Ramu grid power supply is inadequate to meet the demand, causing frequent blackouts to customers in Morobe, Madang and parts of the Highland grid.   

Japan International Cooperation Agency, which funded the study at a cost of K8.8 million stated on its website that, “power supply to the Highlands and Momase region is unstable, interruptive and unpredictable power supply’’.

“In fact, the installation capacity for the Ramu System in terms of power generation stands at 188 MW but the actual capacity remains low at 89 MW today.”

The major finding from the study recommended;

  • Development of hydro power projects must continue as scheduled and rehabilitation work should be facilitated as well.

  • The divergence of power supply sources such as natural gas turbine and biomass, etc., is preferable for stable power supply under the least cost development.

  • Reinforcement of the power system especially in the Highlands area seems to be essential for enhancing the power supply reliability.

  • Replacement of ageing facilities is recommended as an urgent counter measure.

  • Upgrading of Lae distribution network is recommended including network design.

PNG Power director strategic planning and business development Chris Bais said the study recommendation will be circulated for input and the final draft should be handed to the Electricity Management Committee in early next year.

The committee was set up by the National Government to increase electricity access to more Papua New Guineans by 2030.

Charles Yapumi