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Unpaid power bill tough to collect

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 2, 2008) – Papua New Guinea’s electricity supplier, PNG Power is owed PGK90 million [US$34.6 million] by the Government, businesses and householders, amassed over many years.

But PGK47.1 million [US$18.1 million] is the official debt going beyond 60 days that the power supplier has been struggling to recoup, most of which are from government owned entities — Port Moresby owes them PGK13.3 million [US$5 million], the private sector K9.1 million [US$3.5 million] and provincial centres PGK4.2 million — all these figures are taken after being owed over 60 days.

This debt, however, has not impinged on the operations of the government-owned power supplier, but could enhance more work and operations effectively for the institution if paid in full and on time.

PNG Power boss Patrick Mara, on a positive note, however, said they had a debt collection process that had been working on this issue but yet again on a very slow process.

Mr Mara said they could do more if they had all that money available to effectively supply electricity for the people of Papua New Guinea.

But he said it had been more difficult getting the owner (the Government) to pay its dues. Worse still, transactions had been done very slowly.

Mr Mara said by January 5 next year, power supply should be increased and on an improved total capacity of 105 mega watts (MW) from the present 80MW for Port Moresby.

He said more machines would be purchased to meet the demands of the customers in Port Moresby and outside the country. Mr Mara was speaking at a breakfast meeting organised by the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Port Moresby yesterday.

He said Rouna 1 (3MW), Two (10MW), Three (6MW) and Five (13MW) had a total of 32MW, Kanudi supplies 24MW, Moitaka 18MW used daily in Port Moresby.

By January 5, power supply will be increased to 105MW for an effective and efficient power supply.

During his presentation yesterday he revealed that to date there were 38,411 easy pay customers and 3131 general credit meter users, a total of 41,542 customers registered in Port Moresby.

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier:

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