Over 30,000 people to benefit from electrification project

The Prime Minister was in Enga Province over the weekend to launch a couple of significant projects, including the rural electrification program he signed with leaders of five APEC economies last November.

Peter O’Neill addressed locals and stressed that good leadership and cooperation can only see these vital projects come to fruition.

Diplomatic representatives of Japan, New Zealand, Australia and the United States accompanied the Prime Minister, the Governor for Enga and other state ministers, most of whom are local MPs of the province – to launch the project, where an overwhelming welcome to Tsak Valley was displayed for the guests.

Tsak Valley, in Wapenamanda, Enga Province, is where the K5.2 billion rural electrification program starts.

Speaking on behalf of all partnering APEC economies, Australian High Commissioner to PNG Bruce Davis said they hope that the 30 thousand plus people will benefit from light and power that will come from this project.

“We believe 5,500 buildings will be connected to the power, so more people benefit from additional electricity,” he said.

“This is one of the very early projects that Australia and New Zealand are working on with PNG, to ensure that seventy percent of people access power by 2030.”

Australia will be providing K60 million over the course of 4 years.

High Commissioner Davis said they have been talking with PNG Power in terms of technical support, including looking at off-grid solutions.

Meantime, the Prime Minister stressed on the importance of good leadership and why consistency with the type of leaders who are in government, is important to ensure that such multi-million kina projects are implemented on time and according to plan.

With the PNG government having allocated K30 million to this project, his only ask, was for support to the current government leadership and for locals to take ownership of the development that is coming.

“PNG will change very fast in the next five years. Be part of that change. Change your life and you will change the community and the country,” stated O’Neill.

Salome Vincent