On Friday 23 April, the New Zealand High Commissioner, H.E Phillip Taula and PNG Power Managing Director, Mr. Flagon Bekker, signed the Contract for Works for the Enga Electrification Project, which clears the path for construction to commence on the Ramu Grid extension.
Jointly funded by New Zealand and Australia under the five-nation PNG Electrification Partnership announced during the November 2018 APEC Leaders Meeting in PNG, and implemented by PNG Power Limited (PPL), this PGK50 million project extends the Ramu grid into the Tsak Valley in the Wapenamanda District of Enga Province.
The project will connect up to 5,500 rural households, schools, health centres, government offices and businesses within 500 metres of the main transmission lines.
In welcoming this significant milestone, the New Zealand High Commissioner said the signing of the Contract for Works follows two years of project design and development.
“The PNG Electrification Partnership is focused on delivering high impact investments while ensuring improved coordination and governance within the energy sector to bring about transformative change. During the design period, New Zealand and Australia have worked in close partnership with the PPL team to strengthen PPL’s corporate governance, project design and delivery, procurement, and financial accountability and performance,” he said.
The Enga Electrification Project employs qualified PNG Power staff in project management, design and engineering, with a key focus on improving the transparency of procurement processes and ensuring good quality suppliers are used.
“The global COVID-19 Pandemic led to some delays, but it is testament to the determination of the team at PPL and the Technical Advisors, often required to work remotely, that construction is now set to commence”.
“I would also like to convey our appreciation to the Minister for State Enterprises and the Governor for Enga Province as well as to the Honourable Member for Wapenamanda, for their ongoing support to this project,” said the High Commissioner.
Following detailed engineering and design work, the first construction tender under the Enga Electrification Project was released by PPL in September. PPL will shortly release the Western Sector construction tender to the market.
“We are looking forward to working with our development partners to ensure that the goal of providing electricity supply to the rural people of Papua New Guinea, and especially those within the Enga Electrification Project area, is realised,” PPL Managing Director, Flagon Bekker said.
Mr. Bekker thanked the Governments of New Zealand and Australia for their commitment and support to the energy sector in Papua New Guinea, which he said will also help to drive economic growth and development along the corridor of the transmission line grid extension.
The PNG Electrification Partnership is delivering projects that provide sustainable and transformative change. The Governments of Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the United States are working together through the PEP to assist PNG meet its electrification target of 70% electrification by 2030. Projects are aimed at: expanding and improving the electricity grid; building institutional capacity, and strengthening policy and regulatory settings; and providing clean energy to rural and remote communities.