PNG Power: Arrival of New Gas Turbines

Monday June 30, 2014 – The IPBC has joined with the Government in congratulating PNG Power on the arrival of two new gas turbine generators.

The two massive General Electric turbines arrived by ship from the United States. One of the turbines was delivered in Port Moresby on Sunday June 29, the other to be delivered to Lae within the next few days.

The two new gas turbine generators have an ISO rating of 26.2 megawatts of power each. The total cost is PGK 94 million. Government equity injection in the project is PGK 70 million, the residual being a payment to PNG Power Limited for outstanding electricity bills from Government departments.

Following the Government decision IPBC, through its power specialist advisor, has also been providing technical advice to PPL on the procurement of these two gas turbines.

Speaking at a media gathering at the Motukea Port to witness the delivery of the Port Moresby turbine, PNG Power Chief Executive Officer John Tangit said that the turbines will assist in helping to provide greater reliability in the Port Moresby and Lae grids.

“The Port Moresby turbine will be installed at our Kanudi site alongside two existing gas turbines, while the Lae turbine will be installed within the new port precinct,” he said.

“We expect that the Port Moresby turbine will be operational by September-October, while the Lae turbine will be commissioned around November-December.”

In Port Moresby the turbine will add a further 20% capacity to the grid, while in Lae the additional capacity is expected to be well in excess of 50%.

Initially the turbines will be powered by diesel fuel, however Mr Tangit said that there are currently discussions with the National Petroleum Company PNG regarding changing over to natural gas.

“Running diesel fuel will result in higher operational costs, however the new generators are going to make a significant contribution during peak periods. Gas is a much better long-term proposition so yes, that is part of our plan for the future.”

PNG Power customers are the big winners as the two new generators will improve capacity within the Port Moresby and Lae grids.

Earlier in June, it was announced that the PNG Government and IPBC will each underwrite the increased costs to PNG Power by a total of PGK 20 million – PGK 10 million respectively – which will safeguard consumers against the rising cost of power generation which can be mainly attributed to the global upward trend in fuel costs.

PNG Power Chief Executive Officer John Tangit also took the opportunity at Sunday’s media gathering to address the issue of power outages.

“The public needs to be aware that there are ongoing works and that we need to upgrade. Segment outages are for a reason as we carry out necessary maintenance work in order to improve longer term reliability.”

“Outages are advertised in the press and on social media. So really there should be no surprises – but the public do need to be proactive in reading the notices,” Mr Tangit added.

The public also needs to be aware that the situation at the Sirinumu Dam in the nation’s capital is critical due to the current El Nino weather pattern and that electricity production at the Dam is under threat. Should electricity production cease at the Dam then there will be added demand on the Moitaka and Kanudi power stations, in which case the arrival of an additional generator could not have come at a better time.

ENDS

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