NPL outlines ownership plan for Hides Power Station

Ownership of the Hides Power Station in Hela Province will be transferred to PNG stakeholders within 12 months.

New Porgera Limited (NPL) in a statement clarified certain matters regarding the ownership of this facility which provides power to the Porgera mine.

While Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL) has been appointed by NPL to operate the mine including the power station and other associated infrastructure, it agreed to support the state’s proposal that the Hides power station be transitioned to be owned entirely by PNG stakeholders.

This is part of the Porgera Project Commencement Agreement (PPCA).

NPL also owns the high-power transmission line that runs on a mining easement from Hides to the Porgera mine.

According to the statement, BNL’s support was subject to several conditions, namely that BNL should continue to operate the power station and associated infrastructure and, importantly, that Porgera mine would have first priority for electricity generated by the power station.

After the transfer of the power station, NPL will remain the owner of the transmission line.

NPL and BNL remain committed to transferring the Hides power station to 100% PNG ownership as soon as feasible.

However, the transfer will also depend on the PNG stakeholders agreeing ownership arrangements among themselves. It is critically important that the new ownership arrangements for the Hides power station ensure that the power plant landowners and transmission line owners in both Hela and Enga Provinces are all incentivized to guarantee the uninterrupted supply of power to the mine.

It is anticipated that the shareholders of Hides Power Station after the transfer from BNL to NPL will include Hela Provincial Government, landowners of the Hides Power Plant, and landowners of the power line corridor including those both on the Hela and Enga sides.

BNL, as operator, is working to return Porgera mine back to full production as soon as possible. This is currently expected in the third quarter of this year and is dependent on the continued uninterrupted supply of electricity from the Hides power station.

 It is crucial that while discussions progress on the transfer arrangements, including on the sharing of ownership between the PNG stakeholders, that the transmission assets are not vandalized as that would only delay the return of the mine to full production and the transfer of the power station to 100% PNG ownership.

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