LOs assure safety of state assets

After a standoff today along Sogeri road, Koiari landowners have promised not to destroy assets and properties owned by PNG Power and Water PNG.

Central Sogeri Holdings Ltd chairman, Arua Salesoge said landowners are currently on site at Rouna 2 Hydropower station, they have promised not to damage any assets belonging to PNG Power; and only want their demand met.

“The people will be camped here, they won’t move. But we assure that we will take ownership and will look after the properties like our own, because PNG power has been here for years. The workers and the safety of everyone is guaranteed. We won’t touch any equipment and assets. Our demand is pay the K15 million and we happily exit this area,” Salesoge said.

Meantime, PNG Power chief executive officer, Obed Batia has called for cooperation.

“I call on the Koiari landowners to work with the National Government to resolve their grievances. I sympathise with the landowners, however, I must also ensure that company asset and equipment for electricity generation is protected and the paramount safety of our staff,” stated Batia in a statement.

The landowners have blocked off the entry gate and are gathered at the entry gate of Rouna 2 after forcefully shutting down the power station early this morning at 2 am. The Port Moresby Grid has lost 30 MW of power and into load shedding.

PNG Power staff have been allowed movement but the power station is not in operation.

“Negotiations this morning between PNG Power, the Police and landowners were unsuccessful. The landowners are adamant that the National Government leaders bring their demand payment of K15 million before they move out from the power station gates and let operations resume,” said Batia.

This has resulted in heavy load-shedding on the Port Moresby Grid. This has also affected water supply into the city.

“I am working closely with the National Government to ensure this issue is resolved for the benefit of the residents of the National Capital District,” said Batia.

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