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.
Whilst the Government has been making payments, these payments have settled only current amounts owed, whilst amounts in arrears total up to K38million.This continues to place significant pressure on PNG Power to meet payment obligations to critical suppliers.
This situation should ease dramatically in Port Moresby once electricity is able to be supplied from the Niu Power Gas plant in early 2020, upon completion of the transmission line, as a greater proportion of generation is sourced from cheaper renewable energy in Hydro and Gas.
In the provincial centers, where the majority of energy produced is generated from thermal generators, load shedding will be an ongoing exercise. This is because in most cases, the cost to produce power is higher than the tariff we are able to charge.
Acting CEO, Douglas Mageo pointed out that if PNG Power was operating purely on a commercial basis, we would cease power supply in most of the provincial centers where we make a financial loss every time we generate electricity.
Therefore, in order for PNG Power to reduce its fuel bill to sustainable levels, we will continue to load shed in provincial centers that are not connected to the Port Moresby and Ramu Power Grid.
In addition, Mr. Mageo explained that at no point did he make a statement that Dirio needed a K15 million bail out.
Mr. Mageo affirmed that when asked by the reporter from the National about Dirio, his response was simply “they are not ready to commence production”. Furthermore he is not privy to any financial information on Dirio.
Acting Chief Executive Officer