Power Project Welcomes LO Participation

Source: Post-Courier



Landowners can be given the first right of refusal as equity shareholders in the proposed US$120 million (K375 million) Port Moresby power project.
This is according to Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) managing director Wapu Sonk, who says participation by resource landowners in the project was welcome.
He says this can be achieved through equity participation by the Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) in NiuPower Limited.
NiuPower is the entity created by KPHL and Oil Search Limited to underwrite the US$120 million gas fired power station.
LNG project landowners were angered at not being part of the project and threatened to disrupt the US$19 billion investment demanding they own the power station.
Hela landowners said that they had been denied the opportunity to participate in the new project, which will use gas from the PNG LNG liquefaction plant near Port Moresby.
“NiuPower has always been keen to bring in additional equity partners.
“Of course any equity participation must be on commercial terms consistent with the terms agreed between NiuPower and PPL.
“Otherwise there will be substantial increases in the cost of power to PPL and its customers,” Mr Sonk said.
He said Kumul Petroleum and Oil Search had previously invited the State owned MRDC to take equity in NiuPower’s investments to ensure landowner participation in the development of the Port Moresby power station.
“This offer remains open and NiuPower is awaiting engagement from MRDC to discuss the commercial terms for equity participation.
“We, therefore, urge landowners to work constructively with MRDC to achieve their participation in this milestone power project,” he said. Mr Sonk added that following the establishment of the power station, generation requirements for the National Capital District will be covered for a number of years.
“With the creation of NiuPower and the development of the gas fired Port Moresby power station, Kumul Petroleum and Oil Search directly contribute to the government’s energy objectives of electrifying 70 per cent of PNG by 2030, today estimated at around 10 per cent.
“We recognise that electrifying PNG is a development game changer that will improve the lives of our people in line with Vision 2050,” Mr Sonk said.

Photo Courtesy: Loop PNG

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