Independent Power Producers (IPPs) owed funds by the state owned PNG Power Limited (PPL) from the purchase of electricity under their respective power purchase agreements should see this matter resolved now that the government has approved funds to pay outstanding debts owed to service providers.
This was revealed by the Minister for Public Enterprise William Duma in parliament when he said that Cabinet recently approved a big amount of funding to pay some of the service providers, including the IPPs.
“Today we will be paying out nearly K100 million starting with K50 million for one Independent Power Producer which has helped us in terms of providing reliable power services to cities like Port Moresby and Lae,” said the Minister.
However, Duma added that this does not mean that PNG Power has financial difficulties in paying its debts to its service providers.
PNG Power is not technically insolvent, it has got good income producing assets and all it needs now is change in the way people have been conducting business starting from within PNG Power, and the way some of the independent power producing arrangements were put in place.
Meanwhile, the ministerial announcement should come as good news for one IPP- NiuPower Limited, which came out on the media stating just how much PPL owes for its services.
NiuPower claimed that PPL would owe them K200 million by this month in outstanding payments, for its service in providing electricity to the National Capital District (NCD) and Central province power grid, which PPL owns.
However, PNG Power came out to clarify that the claim was not true with the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Obed Batia in a statement saying that the outstanding balance is actually less because of its weekly schedule payment plan for all IPPs.
Nevertheless, the announcement this week by the Public Enterprise Minister should ease things a bit for the time being.