Sirinumu dam needs continuous rain to buff up stock

PNG Power acting chief executive officer John Yanis says electricity rationing will be carried out if the Sirinumu dam runs low of water.

Currently the water level mark is at 139 million cubic metres and depleting and when the measurement hits 100 million cubic meters hydro electricity generation will stop and only water supplier Eda Ranu will supply water to Port Moresby and surrounding areas.   

The full water capacity for the dam is 340 million cubic metres.

Yanis said the electricity short fall will be met from diesel and gas turbine.

He said, the dam needs continuous rain to replenish its water stock in the water catchment area.   

“It depends on how long the rain will come (fall). Naturally we have so many cracks in the ground if the rain comes for two days we won’t expect it to fill up the dam."

“Drop in hydro generation will be reduced but we will still sustain power from generators from Moitaka, Kanudi and also Exxon Mobile plant,” Yanis told Loop PNG.

Meanwhile, Yonki Dam in Eastern Highlands Province is facing the same fate.

“Yonki (Dam) is having the same problem. (like Sirinumu Dam in Port Moresby) The water level gone below the measurement level, but we are managing that as well,” Yanis answered, referring to question from Loop PNG.

The National Weather Office in an earlier interview said PNG will expect rain in this period as the El Nino weather is in a transitional period.

 The man in charge of the National Weather Service Forecasting and Warning Centre Jimmy Gomoga says “the nation is in the transitional period of the El Nino weather pattern and will return to normal cycle around June next year.” 

Despite the harsh condition because of the El Nino, the country will experience some rainfall this time of the year but the catchment will be lower compared to normal seasons, Gomoga said.

Charles Yapumi