PNG UTILITY POSTS $2.3 MILLION 2003 PROFIT

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Mar. 25) – PNG Power chairman Dr Moseley Moramoro has announced a profit of K7.606 million (US$2,342,648) for last year and said the financial turnaround of the long-troubled utility is under way.

He said about K4.82 million was derived from the stronger kina while trading activities contributed K2.76 million.

The "modest profit" was partly due to increased electricity tariffs, tight controls on operating expenses, improved billing operations and upgrading of financial and management reporting capabilities, he said in a press statement yesterday.

Moramoro added that the unaudited accounts, which will be submitted to the auditor-general, were approved by the board at a meeting in Yonki last week.

Mr Moseley said other contributors to the turnaround included the pursuit of power thieves "with offenders being asked to pay up or face prosecution".

The improved result, he said, has provided confidence that a business plan adopted this month to rehabilitate PNG Power would be achieved.

The breakdown of power supply to Madang has only added to the priority, he said.

"Overall, we are rebuilding PNG Power based on these small strides and I am confident that with the management and the board working together, we will eventually get there," he said.

Among issues that still have to be dealt with are further cost reduction, including the cost structure of power from the privately-owned Kanudi power station, and the rationalisation of housing and motor vehicle fleet.

Dr Moramoro said that in the coming 12 months, PNG Power will want to deal with debt collection more effectively and has set a range of targets.

It will cut its Port Moresby vehicle fleet by 20%, reduce employee housing costs by 20%, reduce commercial department costs by 10%, cut unplanned outages by 20% and reduce the number of generation failures, frequency and duration of outages and maintenance expenditure as a ratio of capital asset value.

It also aims to increase plant availability to more than 80%.

March 25, 2004

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

 

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