First off, a very happy new year to all our customers and welcome back from your holidays! POM Distribution Transformer - Early Monday morning, Port Moresby city experienced a total power outage on its grid at 5.00am. Our maintenance crews immediately kick-started the restoration process while also identifying the fault to be at our Waigani Substation. Most parts of the city were eventually restored by 9am. As we speak, we are currently still working on this Transformer (Equipment) Failure which is probably caused by excessive tap changing cycles. The tap changer is a critical part inside a Transformer of this type – like the gearbox in your car.
In the recent weeks, there have been various articles and discussions in both the mainstream media and social media concerning the repeated system outage restoration performance issues on our power grids around the country. Recent one being last night in Port Moresby where were we experienced a total system outage which affected power supply and the restoration process. PNG Power acknowledges that this is not an acceptable level of performance and we have been and will always continue to work hard to restore service as quickly and as safely possible. We also acknowledge that we are experiencing significant technical challenges across all power sector business units. As is well documented, they are mostly due to the challenge of our ageing infrastructure coupled with the transition as we work on targeted investment projects to improve the reliability and availability of the affected assets.
I hereby clarify misleading statements by the PNG Energy Workers Association on the announcement of the new Managing Director for PNG Power Limited. On the onset, the appointment of a Managing Director as the lead role is critical for any business ensuring that it is someone with the right competency and the cost is always budgeted. While sourcing for the Managing Director role, key competences specific to the industry include strong leadership, qualification and extensive experience in commercial, energy engineering, undertaken successful reform in the energy sector and appreciation of local culture. It is baseless to claim that these prerequisites in the ideal candidate were not considered.
I am pleased to announce that PNG Power now has a duly appointed Managing Director, Mr Flagon B Bekker, who was appointed by the National Executive Council, following a thorough and compressive recruitment process facilitated by Kumul Consolidated Holdings and vetted by the PNG Power Board. We welcome Flagon B Bekker, 49 years, to the PNG Power team from Perth, Western Australia. Mr Bekker holds a degree in Electrical Engineering as well as an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, UK. Mr Bekker has over 20 years Energy and Industrial Sectors’ experience, across four (4) global regions including key emerging growth markets such as the Middle East, North Africa/Turkey and Sub-Saharan Africa. He comes to PNG Power with broad Power Sector value chain. He has enjoyed global career making contributions at senior management level before moving to board-level management & sectoral consulting roles with leading regional champions and global industrial multinationals.
PNG Power informs all its valued Electricity Consumers and the general public that it will be conducting a house to house Meter Survey to check on all forms of illegal connections or stealing of power nationwide. This will begin in Port Moresby and move into other centres starting this month. According to the Electricity Industry Act 2000, Illegal Connection or Diversion of energy by Consumers in order to use free power is a CRIME and you can be criminally prosecuted in a Court of Law. A Penalty not exceeding three (3) years will be served if you are proven guilty in a Court of Law.
In light of the heightened risk of the Corona Virus (COVID -19), PNG Power has initiated its Business Continuity Plans to ensure the supply of Power is maintained throughout any emergency period. PNG Power is currently engaging with all its suppliers and agents to ensure supply of critical products and services such as fuel, Independent power generation units, Easipay, are not affected during an emergency period. Engagements with other Government agencies such as police will also take place to ensure co-ordination of responses in such a scenario is established and enabled.
PNG Power Management led by Acting Chief Executive Officer, Douglas Mageo and Board Chairman, Peter Nupiri met with Port Moresby General Hospital CEO, Dr. Paki Molumi to iron out power quality issues, following a social media (Facebook) complaint by a prominent doctor who works at hospital. According to the Social Media post (FB), the Doctor raised the issue that the recent unplanned power outages and load shedding of power supply in Port Moresby caused medical equipment failure in their laboratories/wards and has affected their duties. During the meeting, discussions concluded that the power quality issues faced by Port Moresby General Hospital was previously identified by PNG Power. A recommendation was made to the then hospital CEO and management to come up with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), so that PNG Power can install a power-factor equipment that was already sourced and has been awaiting installation since 2013.
PNG Power continues to conduct load shedding in parts of Port Moresby and the upper highlands area due to several causes.Load shedding is currently being carried out in Port Moresby as work is underway to repair aging equipment at the Boroko Sub-station. The recent introduction of the NiuPower gas plant power supply to the Port Moresby grid has led to the load shedding exercise due to lack of compensating reactive power to meet the demand. However, negotiations with NiuPower to adjust their generator settings have seen a reduction in load shedding from two feeders to one per day. Further arrangements will be made to rectify the issue.
The Gerehu to NiuPower Gas Plant Transmission Lines project was completed on Saturday and successfully energized in the early hours of Sunday (today). On Saturday, PNG Power and its contractor, Voltran Engineering began work on the final hook-up and connection into the NiuPower yard, which was the final task of the transmission lines construction. PNG Power technical teams have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure all necessary electromechanical requirements were met for the final connection phase of the transmission lines between the Moitaka Substation, the Kanudi Substation and the NiuPower Gas Plant.