The Moitaka Power Station was established in 1980 and has been a reliable source of electricity until it was decommissioned in 2019 after several Independent Power Producers (IPP) were introduced into the Port Moresby Grid.
According to PNG Power Ltd (PPL) the Moitaka Power Station initially had a station output of 16 Megawatts (MW) from two Hitachi Zosen Z40 Diesel Engines (Unit 1 & 2).
Later, an additional 15 MW with the installation of a GE LM2500 (GT2) in 1990 increased its capacity, and two Mirrlees Blackstone MK16KV Diesel Engines (Unit 3 & 4) were added with an individual capacity of 8 MW each.
PPL stated that the Moitaka units are high-inertia thermal engines with a significant rotational mass. This means that they can store energy and respond slowly to changes in demand, making them suitable for stabilising the grid. Their characteristics make them suitable for the Port Moresby grid application, where they can complement hydro generation. Although hydro generation is a renewable and flexible source of electricity, it depends on water availability and environmental factors. High-inertia thermal engines can provide backup power and grid stability, especially during peak hours or emergencies.
PPL stated that the decision to recommission the Moitaka Power Station was made after thoroughly analysing the Port Moresby grid's energy needs.
As of Friday May 19, 2023, Moitaka Unit 3 is available, and can be safely dispatched with 6MW of power.
PPL has assured that the recommissioning of the Moitaka Thermal Power Station will provide much-needed backup power and stability to the Port Moresby grid.
PPL Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Nehemaiah Naris, was present to start up the first recommissioned unit.
He said the PPL restoration team will work hard to restore Unit 4 to bring additional capacity to the Port Moresby Grid in the coming months.