Basil planning big energy push

Communications, Information Technology, and Energy Minister Sam Basil plan to seek the National Executive Council’s approval to roll out Bulolo’s sustainable energy programmes throughout the country.
“I will also seek off-grid solutions that can be provided by investing in micro-hydro, solar, wind small-scale geothermal, biomass and smart technologies like in my electorate,” he said.
Basil was speaking during the opening the first Ramu grid round-table workshop for key stakeholders of the Ramu Power Grid on Friday.
Themed “Towards accessible, reliable and affordable electricity, as a key enabler for economic growth and prosperity”, the workshop was aimed at providing the participants the opportunity to describe their current consumption levels and future demand requirements and what they were willing to pay for electricity.
Basil said that the Government’s recent undertaking as outlined in the Alotau Accord 2 was to create an environment in Papua New Guinea where it would continue to develop and maintain key productivity infrastructure assets, including utilities such as electricity to create a public-private partnership in the energy sector to improve and upgrade provision of accessible, reliable and affordable electricity in PNG.
“The National Development Strategic Plan 2030 projects that by the year 2030, 70 percent of the population will have access to electricity in PNG,” he said.
“I consider this to be a major challenge, however, I believe that an initiative such as the National Electricity Roll Out Plan (NEROP) has the potential to contribute significantly to this projection if resourced and implemented.
“NEROP requires government funding, however, for this to happen, NEC must sanction this plan. I intend to take NEROP to Cabinet for consideration and approval.”
He said the Ramu grid was the largest of three systems in PNG covering seven provinces (Morobe, Madang, Eastern Highlands, Chimbu, Western Highlands, Jiwaka and Enga) with 1.1 million households within 20km of the current grid and would drive the economic heartland of PNG.

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