PNG Power has a history that goes back to the colonial days under the Australian Government. Its predecessor, the Electricity Commission, was officially set up on 1 July 1963 with the commissioning of the Sirinumu Dam and installation of generating plant in 12 centres.
Work began on the Rouna II Hydroelectric Power Station and the Moitaka power station nearby Port Moresby in 1964. Two years later Elcom commissioned a diesel power station in Goroka, followed in 1968 with new generators in Goroka, Madang, Samarai and Kavieng. Stage 2 of Rouna II was commissioned in 1969.
The World Bank provided a loan of US$20.7 million to develop Stage I of the Upper Ramu hydroelectric scheme in 1971 with a second loan negotiated in 1974 for completion of the project.
At the time of independence in 1975 all five Associate Commissioners at Elcom were Papua New Guineans and the utility was fully managed by Papua New Guineans from 1977 onwards. Further expansion of the network followed and by 1989 Elcom had 50,000 consumers in various parts of the country.
The government-owned utility, PNG Power, operates 19 independent grids and transmission systems as part of its role as the key service provider for electricity in the country. These grids supply power to the national capital, Port Moresby, and to 26 other urban centres. About 115 megawatts are installed in or near the national capital, Port Moresby.
Total installed capacity of the state-owned utility is around 300 MW. There is an additional 280MW generated by other entities that consume power mainly for their own use. This includes power supply from the Hides gas field in Southern Highlands to the Porgera gold mine, and 54MW of geothermal capacity utilized by Lihir Gold.
The other main area of generation is the Ramu hydro system, which has 87MW of installed capacity. This is supplemented by standby diesel generators in Lae, Madang, Mendi and Wabag in the Momase and Highlands regions. There is an additional 12MW of hydro capacity in the Islands Region, also supplemented by diesel generation.
|Site Capacity MW|
PNG Power was the sole generator, transmitter and distributor of electricity until it negotiated an agreement in 1999 with the Korean-owned Hanjung Power Ltd. Under the 15-year build-operate-transfer agreement, Hanjung will generate and sell power from its 24MW Kanudi diesel power station into the Port Moresby electricity grid. Expressions of interest have recently been called for an Independent Power Producer that will add a further 20MW into the Port Moresby grid.
Transmission and distribution
The transmission systems are centred at Port Moresby, Ramu and Gazelle, while the distribution network covers 3,300km – 2,800km in the Port Moresby, Ramu and Gazelle areas and 500 km elsewhere.
|Line length km|
Energy sales are expected to be in line with the level of economic activity and are forecast by PNG Power to grow at 1-2% per annum over the next five years.
| || ||Engery Sales MWh|| |
For more information go to the PNG Power website