Last Wednesday, 23 September 2015, PNG Biomass joint venture partner Oil Search Ltd signed a statement of intent with PNG Power Ltd (PPL) for the next phases of the RAMU Power Project (RPP). The RPP is aimed at connecting up to one million people to a larger and improved electricity grid by 2030, through the provision of modular, low cost
Peter Botten, Oil Search’s Managing Director said:
“Oil Search continues to work closely with the PNG Government to develop long-term solutions for PNG’s power sector. With one of the world’s lowest electricity connection rates, delivery of reliable, competitively priced power is one of PNG’s highest priorities and we are delighted that we can play our part in providing clean and sustainable biomass-fired and gas-fired power to the country. We have been exploring the potential for the Markham Valley Biomass project and cost effective gas fired generation in the Highlands for a number of years and hope to sign Power Purchase Agreements for these projects, which have the potential to make a real difference to people’s lives, by the end of the year.”
The PNG Biomass Project forms a key element of the next phase of the RPP. It is designed to provide a new base load power supply to the RAMU Grid and is the first clean and sustainable energy initiative in PNG history. The project is being developed as an Independent Power Producer (IPP) by Oil Search and joint venture partner Aligned (PNG) Energy Ltd.
The PNG Biomass Project will be developed in the Markham Valley, Morobe Province, to supply up to 30 MW power to the Lae Region and is expected to have significant environmental, social and employment benefits. The development will be phased in two x 15 MW units, to match supply with demand.
After 5 years of planning, expenditure of over 20 million Kina on engineering, project feasibility studies, plantations trials and landowner engagement and involvement of world class experts on sustainable biomass developments, the PNG Biomass Project is now ready to be progressed subject to the joint venture partners signing an Implementation Agreement with the PNG Government.