Power remains one of the most significant development and social issues for people in PNG. Power is fundamental to economic and social development and underpins activities which can improve lives.
The PNG Government has recognised the importance of the availability of power and has introduced a policy to rapidly and materially increase access to electricity within PNG. To make this happen, the country needs competitively priced, reliable, domestic power solutions.
Given that the PNG LNG Project is exporting significant volumes of gas to power Asia, we believe it is important for Oil Search to help find solutions for PNG’s power dilemma. We have always been committed to using the Company’s resources, skills and knowledge to improve outcomes for PNG. By evaluating PNG-resourced energy solutions and partnering with key PNG energy companies to help deliver power, we are creating strong foundations for improvements in the country’s health, education and general wellbeing.
Oil Search has been involved in power for many years. We have supplied gas from Hides to generate electricity for Porgera since 1991. We also operate 17MW of our own gas and diesel generation capacity and have two Power Purchase Agreements in place with PNG Power Limited (PPL). Last year, we helped PPL install and operate continuous diesel generation in Tari and are helping them with maintenance contracts for that facility.
Oil Search has consolidated all of the Company’s power activities into a single business entity, ‘Oil Search Power Holdings’. Our power business is advancing the initiatives that can deliver scalable, reliable and competitively-priced power to PNG’s communities, businesses and industry. Key projects include the PNG Biomass project, Highlands power solutions, helping to manage grid demand and investigating how LNG might be used domestically.
The PNG Biomass Markham Valley Power Project is an exciting lower carbon, renewable and sustainable energy initiative. The Project is located in the Markham Valley and will use wood chips harvested from sustainably grown trees in surrounding plantations to fuel a biomass power plant to provide up to 30MW into Lae and the Ramu grid, with generation due to commence in 2019.
With this project, Oil Search is demonstrating how small, scalable competitive generation can enhance energy security in PNG, while contributing to the wellbeing of local communities, creating opportunities for landowners and future generations, and providing energy independence for PNG – while at the same time complementing the country’s pristine and unique environment
To learn more about PNG Biomass, visit its dedicated website.