ESP Governor, Allan Bird presented the cheque to PPL Acting Chief Executive Officer, Obed Batia recently, the money will help revive PPL’s 2.5 medium speed generation in Wewak.
Mr Batia thanked Governor Bird in agreeing to invest in the purchase of machines that will ensure better distribution of power supply throughout Wewak.
The total load for Wewak is about 4.5megawatts, and are currently short with almost 1megawatt as they only have 3.5megawatts available and load shedding is almost about 700kw.
Mr Batia said with the assistance from the provincial government, PPL will be able to improve generation to 6megawatts.
“I am pleased with the Governor of ESP, the District Development Authority and local level government who have made a decision to invest on this very important asset for PPL. We are happy that, going forward, we will have to cater for the people in Wewak and along the highway up to Yangoru and Maprik,” he said.
PNG Power Ltd has already paid an upfront fee of K900,000 and with the K1 million provided, this will leave a remaining balance of K700, 000. The total cost of the refurbishment is K3.6million.
Governor Bird said: “One of the main things faced as a province and in many other provinces is that when there is a blackout the provincial government gets the blame. This also applies to other services as well when they are not functioning.”
He said East Sepik has taken it upon itself to assist businesses in the province to allow good flow of services and avoid disgruntled locals.
Governor Bird said the province have been having power problems for about 20 years and this has not been entirely resolved. Business houses have complained because of the blackouts that have resulted in the damage of sensitive equipment.
“When we talked to PPL, we found out that there is an issue and there’s no point blaming PPL like with the police. We have to step in and see how best we can help, because at the end of the day, we are all serving the same clients.
“Given the distance from Port Moresby, it’s critical that we step in to bridge the gap but many of the clients in East Sepik provide their own power,” he said.
Governor Bird stressed the need to solve the power problem as people need reliable power especially businesses, so they can continue to make money, pay their taxes and keep the country moving.
“On behalf of the ESP government and the people of East Sepik, we look forward to getting an improved service from PPL and for us we are happy to be making this investment.”