On Wednesday 30 March, the New Zealand High Commissioner, Phillip Taula, and PNG Power Management accompanied by the Member for Rigo, Hon. Lekwa Gure and representatives from the PNG Electrification Partnership, visited Hula to commission the recently completed Hula section of the New Zealand-funded Rural On-Grid Extension Project in Central Province.
The project was implemented by PNG Power under the PNG Electrification Partnership.
Beginning in 2016, the K40 million Rural On-Grid Extension Project extends the Port Moresby Grid into Central Province, delivering new electricity connections across four project sites covering Bisiatabu to Owers Corner, Sabusa to Brown River Station and Tubuseria to Kwikila, and in 2018 the project scope was extended to include Hula.
“Electricity service is non-existent in most rural parts of PNG and the rural population must therefore resort to locally available fuel for their energy needs.”
“Access to affordable and reliable electricity can significantly improve their lives and enable economic growth.”
“Given the challenging geography of rural PNG and the high cost of service delivery, PNG Power welcomes assistance from the PEP to extend the national grid into rural areas,” said Acting Chief Executive Officer, Obed Batia.
The project’s goal is to provide economic and social benefits to the rural populace through the provision of electricity supply and the target was to construct approximately 86km of new medium voltage distribution lines and connect around 5,600 rural households, as well as schools, health centres and SME activities, with Minimum Supply Kits (including Easipay meters).
“I’m very pleased to see the project nearing completion and to see it appears likely to exceed the original connections target” said New Zealand High Commissioner Phillip Taula.
“The PEP is focused on delivering high impact investments while ensuring improved coordination and governance within the energy sector to bring about transformative change.”
“The Rural On-Grid Extension Project’s focus on supporting transparent and fair procurement processes, and utilising local contractors and suppliers, is well aligned with this and I commend PPL for continuing to progress the project in spite of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.”
The High Commissioner and PNG Power conveyed their appreciation to the Member for Rigo and the Member for Kairuku – Hiri Hon. Peter Isoaimo for their ongoing collaboration on this important project.
The PNG Electrification Partnership is delivering projects that provide sustainable and transformative change.
The Governments of Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the United States are working together through the PEP to assist PNG meet its electrification target of 70% electrification by 2030.
Projects are aimed at: expanding and improving the electricity grid; building institutional capacity, and strengthening policy and regulatory settings; and providing clean energy to rural and remote communities.