Two new generators funded by the Australian Government have been installed at PNG Power Limited’s (PPL) Daru Station in Western Province to stabilise the region’s electricity grid.
This work is the first stage of Australia’s commitment to upgrade and transition the Daru electricity grid to a hybrid diesel-solar system.
The PGK3 million generators have provided immediate relief to the Daru electricity network. The funding initially supported short-term hire of a 1MW generator while two new 1MW permanent generators were purchased and installed at the PPL Daru Station.
“Through this project, Australia aims to improve the lives of people living in Daru and nearby communities by restoring their access to reliable electricity,” said High Commissioner Jon Philp.
“Australia worked with PPL to procure and install the generators in line with PPL’s requirements. These upgrades are designed to resolve supply issues, particularly during peak periods.”
Prior to the urgent support, PPL’s regional centre in Daru had been experiencing severe technical issues with its existing power generator units. As a result, Daru was sometimes experiencing prolonged blackouts, leaving essential services without power.
The new generators restore reliable power to customers in Daru without the need for load shedding, a technique used as a last resort to balance demand and supply of electricity that leaves customers without consistent power supply.
“PNG Power extends its thanks and appreciation to Australia for their generosity in gifting us two brand new 1MW generators for Daru. Our people in Daru will celebrate this Christmas without load shedding,” said PPL General Manager Generation, Benny Kimisive.
“In response to this very timely assistance, PPL’s Generation team is committed to realigning our processes to prioritise planned maintenance to ensure the longevity of these machines. This will greatly improve reliability and availability of electricity.”
As part of a longer-term solution to secure Daru’s electricity supply, Australia is also supporting improvements to the PPL-owned mini grid at Daru Station that will prioritise lower cost electrification models such as solar, batteries and low emission technologies. These upgrades are designed to cut costs and connect more remote villages to reliable and renewable electricity.
These improvements contribute to Australia’s commitments under the PNG Electrification Partnership. Under the Partnership, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States are working together to help PNG meet its target to connect 70% of the country to electricity by 2030.