Lae Hit By ‘Disappointing’ Power Outages In PNG

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Provincial governor urges action by PNG Power Ltd.

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Oct. 29, 2013) – In Papua New Guinea, Lae city’s industrial and manufacturing sectors were hit by sporadic power outages during the weekend and yesterday.

An advisory from PNG Power Ltd. (PPL) after 11am yesterday said the blackouts were the result of closing of Ramu One Power Station at Yonki.

But the Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the PPL load-shedding notices in last week’s newspapers were not enough to explain to the people the real problem.

Morobe Governor Kelly Naru was also disappointed at the power disruption, saying it was unacceptable.

"Productivity in government and business is adversely affected and PNG Power must attend to this problem with the utmost urgency and priority that it deserves," he said.

Naru called on the Government to seriously consider its commitment to provide an alternative power generation source for Lae and Morobe.

"It is now a serious matter that needs urgent attention for the future benefit of Lae city."

Majestic Seafoods and Lae Biscuit, two large factories, claimed that the constant power fluctuations were causing a high rate of wear and tear to their electrical power-boards.

Edwin Wong of Lae Biscuit said a power-board normally lasted up to five years but in Lae it lasted less than three because of the power outages.

The Ramu power station was expected to be re-opened by 4pm to restore power supply to Lae.

The outages started on Friday. By Sunday, the situation had worsened.

There was blackout in the evening which continued up to yesterday.

The PPL advisory said the station had to be shut down so that one of five generators could be refurbished.

It claimed PPL had placed notices in last week’s newspapers advising of load shedding in Lae and Madang last weekend to allow the above to happen.

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