Tuke Visits Coal Plant ‘For Perspective’
Post Courier | January 10, 2019
Mining Minister Johnson Tuke visited a coal fired power plant north of Sydney to gain a perspective on modern technology and the benefits of utilizing PNG’s own domestic coal resources.
The 15th Papua New Guinea Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference was held in Sydney, Australia last month, with an extensive focus placed on the future of mining and energy solutions for Papua New Guinea.
While attending the Conference last month, a senior PNG government delegation led by the minister conducted a visit to one of Australia’s longest running power plants.
The Mining Minister’s focus was to understand better how PNG could benefit from a more diversified energy mix at the lowest cost while also developing a more diversified resources and mining sector.
PNG, while strong in gold, copper, and recently in natural gas and nickel production needs to diversify its opportunities and create new revenue sectors for the nation. This was a sentiment echoed throughout the Sydney conference.
Power generation was also key topic of debate at the conference, including the nationwide electrification program that is essential for PNG to meet its commitments set out in the Alotau accords.
“I am looking at ways to expand opportunities in our extractives sector, how to increase Government revenue from Mining, and using global research in consultation with our international partners to review the sectors that PNG should be considering.”
“While it is a debated topic currently, especially in the Lae region, NEC has agreed that in our current state of energy poverty with only 13 per cent of our people having access to electricity, we will look at all forms of energy in our energy mix as all other nations around us have and will continue to do.
He reminded those critical to idea of a coal producing PNG, not to forget that for the last 43 years since independence most of PNG’s electricity has come from high polluting imported heavy fuel oil and diesel.
“I need to remind them we have our own cleaner low cost, low ash, low Sulphur high quality coal right here in PNG in the Gulf Province.
“Globally coal is a resource of immense proportions. PNG has never mined Coal, while our neighbouring countries (especially Australia and Indonesia) continue to reap the rewards of this commodity by exporting and empowering their people with far higher living standards than what we have in PNG while using inferior coal quality compared with our PNG coal,” Mr Tuke said.