BOUGAINVILLE TO BUILD $12 MILLION POWER PLANT

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Hydro power will serve 10,000 residents

By Mohammad Bashir

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, July 29, 2008) – A K30 million [US$11.7 million] hydro power station will be built in Togorao,Wakunai district, Central Bougainville, to power electricity for about 10,000 people.

The project, developed by the PNG Sustainable Energy Ltd (PNGSEL), was given the green light by the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) last week.

A cooperation agreement was also signed between ABG acting president Sam Paulus and PNGSEL chief executive officer Peter Martin in Buka.

The agreement is non-binding, non-exclusive and confidential and does not put any obligation on the two parties but for them to observe their respective interests.

Four-man implementation committees comprising of two persons each from PNGPSEL and the ABG will be formed to liaise, direct and oversee the project.

Tenders have been put out while PNGSEL experts on environmental impact, business development opportunities and engineers have already been deployed on the ground to assess impacts and opportunities of the project.

At the signing ceremony, Mr Martin and his team of experts outlined to the ABG cabinet the funding, which has been secured from the European Union, and how landowners interest and equity would be shared.

Mr Martin said landowners would be given 30% equity which included everyone affected even those on the access areas.

He said the project was in advance stages and PNGSEL intended to use ‘Raitpower’, a pre-paid system where users of the hydro-power would recover their cost through tariffs.

Community affairs manager John Dege told the ABG that under this arrangement, landowners would finance the project themselves and take ownership of the project.

He said the landowner’s share of the loan repayment would be through a gradual deduction through the tariffs under the ‘Raitpower’ concept.

PNGSEL also announced that it would consider options to build a tidal wave power station in the Buka passage to supplement the town’s power supply.

They are also looking at options of thermal energy power supply and bio-diesel fuel in the region.

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

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