PNG Power is informing business houses and the general public that the current load shedding exercise across the country will continue as it continues to conserve its fuel supplies whilst reducing fuel expenses. It was incorrectly reported in the National Newspaper (October 24) that the Government had settled K50 million in outstanding bills and therefore the fuel payment issue had been resolved. This is not the case.
PNG Power will be conducting major load shedding and disconnection exercises throughout the country this week. The decision was made after a thorough analysis by the company showed major dues owed by various large customers. We are just like any other corporate organisation that requires a continuous cash flow to circulate to help us run our operations.
The Board and Management of PNG Power have noted with grave concerns the comments and actions of the Minister for Communications and Energy Hon. Rainbo Paita in the media recently. PNG Power is a Majority State Owned Enterprise operating under the oversight of its Board and reporting to the Trustee Shareholder Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH) as stipulated under the KCH Act. The Minister does not have any powers to direct or interfere with the affairs of PNG Power unless such directions or decision are approved by the National Executive Council (NEC) and validated or effectuated by relevant Gazettal Notice for implementation.
PNG Power remains committed to carrying forward the goal set by outgoing Acting Managing Director’s for the company become safe, reliable and financially viable. Acting Chief Executive Officer, Douglas Mageo expressed gratitude towards Carolyn Blacklock for her time in serving the company for the last eighteen (18) months. “The company had the great privilege of working alongside a committed and transparent individual that has set a clear strategic direction for the future. Her decision to leave PNG Power has saddened many staff but PNG Power remains focused in ensuring the goal to becoming safe, reliable, and financially viable is achieved,” said Mr. Mageo.
The PNG Power Board of Directors held a special meeting this morning to formally put in place an Acting Chief Executive Officer following the announcement by Carolyn Blacklock to step down as the acting Managing Director of PNG Power. The Board acknowledges Ms. Blacklock’s invaluable contribution to PNG Power over the past 18-months. Carolyn provided a strong, decisive and courageous leadership that restored confidence in the company from all stakeholders including our development partners, financiers, customers, suppliers and off course, our workforce. The Board understands the circumstances leading to her decision to step down and accepted her resignation. On behalf of the Board and the entire PNG Power Team, I want to thank Carolyn for all her efforts in stabilizing and initiating a Reform Agenda for PNG Power, underpinned by the Least Cost Power Development Plan.
PNG Power is keenly aware of the claims of the various landowner groups around our Warangoi Hydropower facility. In a meeting held on May 8, 2019 between the East New Britain Provincial Administrator, the Qaqet Stewardship Council, the Warangoi Hydro Landowners Association, the Sininvit LLG and PNG Power, the parties agreed that a Land Investigation Report must be completed to confirm the ownership of the land before any further agreements can be established.
PNG Power is currently undergoing a review of its financial reporting following the discovery of a number of issues relating to the integrity of its financial records. In 2018, PNG Power management discovered significant inaccuracies in financial reporting, which includes amongst other things, under-reporting of expenses. The news article in the Post-Courier regarding our shareholder, Kumul Consolidated Holdings declaring its 2018 dividends, reported a financial loss of K197 million for PNG Power. PNG Power would like to make it clear that the 2018 financial reports are still under review and a final unaudited figure is yet to be released. For the past six years, PNG Power have had independent, external audits undertaken. Each audit has produced a number of negative and irregular qualifications relating to the Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss. Unfortunately, no action has been taken until 2018 to correct these very serious accounting irregularities.
Statement from the PNG Power Board Chairman in response to an open letter from Disgruntled Former Employees
A group of disgruntled former PNG Power Executives and Managers have circulated a so-called open letter to politicians, media outlets and on social media to air their grievances (again). These desperate men have been dismissed recently for gross incompetence and some of them are currently being investigated for improper and fraudulent behaviours during their tenure at PNG Power. Whilst PNG Power is not obliged to respond to their ongoing lies and the defamatory allegations in this open letter to discredit the Board and Management, I am compelled as Chairman to respond.
The Warangoi Hydropower Station in East New Britain was shut down over the weekend to undergo major rehabilitation works for the next 12 months. PNG Power will still be able to maintain the power supply to its customers in the province through the Ulagunan Power Station in Kokopo and the Kerevat Power Station. Peak power demand in East New Britain is 10MW and at the moment, Ulagunan is producing 7.6MW while Kerevat is producing 1.8 MW which enough cater for the current demand. The Ulagunan Power Station’s generation capacity was boosted with the inclusion of leased machines which were brought in to provide extra generation for the period of the rehabilitation works. PNG Power is also completing overhauls of two generating units at Ulagunan that will provide an additional 2MW of reserve capacity within the next few weeks.
PNG Power and the Namatanai District Development Authority (NDDA) signed a partnership agreement on Thursday April 25, 2019 to re-establish electricity services at Konos and Namatanai in New Ireland Province. This partnership will now see electricity service is provided 24 hours in Namatanai town and rural areas. This will also enhance social and economic development activities within the district.