PNG LNG powers up

EXXONMOBIL and its partners, including Oil Search and Santos, have signed a deal with the Papua New Guinea government and the state-owned PNG Power to supply electricity to people in the PNG Highlands regions, through the 25 megawatt Ramu power project.
PNG LNG powers up PNG LNG powers up PNG LNG powers up PNG LNG powers up PNG LNG powers up

The deal, which includes Australia's Oil Search as part of the PNG LNG consortium, will develop a multi-phase power delivery project, due to be completed in time for the Pacific Games.

Stage one has already been completed, with the start of continuous 24-hour power generation and supply to Tari, a major town located about 50km northeast of the Hides gas field, following an upgrade of the existing power plant in Tari.

PNG LNG will provide the gas from the Hides field

Round-the-clock power generation will allow power to be transmitted to the Tari Rural Hospital, the local school, as well as enable further connections in Tari, Oil Search said.

An additional memorandum of understanding envisages further gas sales once a new power plant is built near the PNG LNG infrastructure.

Future phases of the Ramu project are expected to provide further infrastructure, including new transmission lines, and up to 100MW of additional electricity generating capacity, enabling the connection and delivery of reliable, affordable power to the many homes, businesses, hospitals and schools which lie within 20km of the Ramu grid, PNG's largest power grid, but are currently without power.

Three million people live within 20km of the Ramu grid.

"Since the start-up of the PNG LNG project, a significant amount of gas is being exported to our Asian customers, yet the people of PNG have one of the world's lowest electricity connection rates, with less than 6% of the country presently having access to reliable power in their homes," Oil Search managing Peter Botten said.

"Delivery of reliable, competitively priced power is a social priority and we believe key industry players must become involved to help overcome this issue, which is why we are working with the government and PPL to deliver the Ramu power project."

He said Oil Search was committed to developing sustainable and lower carbon power solutions and was liaising closely with the PNG Office of Climate Change and government bodies to ensure a sustainable approach to providing power for PNG.

"Our partnership with PPL in the Ramu power project seeks to bring together the best of public and private enterprise skills and assets, for maximum benefit to the domestic market."

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said it was another step forward in the government's efforts to provide electricity to remote regions in PNG and is considering other forms of power generation to achieve this.

"We will continue to look at other means to get electricity to remote locations from sources that could also include solar and wind, and we will continue to explore those options," he said.

"Oil Search has again demonstrated its willingness to work with the government on projects that will improve the lives of Papua New Guineans.

"Our government will continue working with stakeholders to continue strengthening the long-term future of our nation."

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