The K50 million (AUD19million) upgrades will support work to improve, restructure and transition grids in Buka and Arawa to renewable energy.
In a statement, Jon Philip said, “The upgrades are designed to connect businesses and communities to reliable, affordable and renewable electricity, as well as providing long-term capacity solutions and reducing operating costs.”
The upgrades to Buka and Arawa grids will connect neighboring areas to have access to more reliable electricity.
In the short term, Australia will provide urgent upgrades valued at approximately K9.6million and this will include the hire of temporary diesel generators that will immediately improve electricity capacity.
Australia will provide in the longer term, new diesel generators and explore options that will enable renewable and low emission technology like battery energy storage systems to meet the region’s electricity needs.
The use of hybrid diesel and renewable power will make power cheaper and greener, with benefits for the economy and environment.
“Electricity powers local businesses and improves many facets of people’s everyday lives, such as access to health care, education, food security and gender equality,” said Philp.
He further added that, “Australia is committed to supporting Bougainville’s economic prosperity by identifying ways to stabilise and improve its electricity grid.”
Under the PNG Electrification partnership, Australia is committed to improve access to reliable and renewable electricity in Bougainville.
By 2030 through this partnership, PNG, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the United States are working together to help PNG meet its goal of connecting 70 per cent of the country to electricity.