No power deal to use coal, says Blacklock

“Why should PNG that has all these beautiful water running through its rivers, is sitting on an ocean of gas, rush down the path of dealing with salesmen from other countries who want us to buy a coal-fired power station?”

Helen Tarawa | The National | November 23, 2018

PNG Power Limited acting managing director Carolyn Blacklock says the company does not have any power purchase agreements that involves coal.

She told The National that a proposal for a purchase agreement using coal-fired electricity supplies was “unsolicited”.

“This is not something we went to market for competitive bidding,” Blacklock said.

The Mayur Resources Enviro Energy Park project to be built in Lae has received support from Morobe and Gulf provincial governments, and the endorsement of the Conservation and Environment Protection Agency.

Mayur had agreed to a K125 million funding package for Morobe over 25 years. But it is awaiting the green light from PNG Power.

Energy Minister Sam Basil recently wrote to PNG Power chairman Peter Nupiri stating that Mayur’s response to a solicited request from Blacklock should be presented to the board for consideration.

He requested PNG Power to give Mayur, “being a genuine investor”, a fair chance by taking his response to the board. But Blacklock said “we are not scared about the fuel source”.

“Coal is not something that PNG Power worries necessarily about doing.

“If we have to do coal or gas or hydro, we do it on a basis that it is built around PNG Power’s plan which says we need this much generation at this time in this location.

“We don’t go into market to do that. So why should PNG that has all these beautiful water running through its rivers, is sitting on an ocean of gas, rush down the path of dealing with salesmen from other countries who want us to buy a coal-fired power station?

“They don’t have a balance sheet and they have never worked in PNG. I’m not Papua New Guinean but I’ve seen enough of this nonsense. We need to be building power stations based on true planned demand not on what somebody else thinks is our demand.

“We’ve got to get this right otherwise we end up with other power projects with other power projects that are costing us too much money or are not in the right place or too much power.

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Filed under Environmental impact, Papua New Guinea

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