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Court orders HANJUNG Power 2 months to supply electricity

HANJUNG Power has two months to provide 25 percent of the electricity load in the nation’s capital and start adhering to a court decision of last month.
The company, which supplies 25 percent of the city’s electricity, said it has enough fuel to run for two months and then after that they may not supply again as per the court decision.
The court has found that the heavy fuel being used by the company had levels of sulphur in excess of the allowed levels, which is illegal in the country. This court ruling will also affect the mining, shipping and other industries that use fuel with sulphur content of 3.5 percent.
And Hanjung Power said it is now up to PNG Power and the Government, through Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC), to look at other electricity supply options.
But the company also refuted earlier media reports that it was operating illegally.
Hanjung executives said they have already reviewed their operation to ensure they are legally acceptable and comply with the established laws and frameworks but are only awaiting a PNG Power undertaking after obtaining all relevant approvals.
"We are not illegally operating. The court basically ordered that we stop importing fuel from overseas. We have a supplier of fuels and we have to abide by that," Hanjung said in a statement yesterday.
"It is now up to PNG Power to advise of their next option and the Government through IPBC as well."
Last month the courts ruled that the PNG Government had the right to determine the materials used in the generation of power, particularly through generators which are managed by private companies and sold to the public.
The court ruled the Government also has the authority to make subordinate legislation that affects rules to protect public interest to regulate prices.
The court also found that a trial judge had erred in striking down a regulation which had been properly made by parliament pursuant to a valid enabling legislation-Customs Act 1951.
It found the trial judge there had no power to interfere with the regulation by reviewing it.
The power plant at Kanudi supplies 25 percentage of the electricity used by Port Moresby residents and businesses.
The ruling was on an appeal the government had filed against the operators of the Kanudi power plant, Hanjung Power Limited, in relation to the distribution of electricity in Port Moresby.
The appeal was instituted by the government to protect public interest in relation to the sulphur content in fuel and price regulations.
The appeal was filed to challenge the decision which had been made by the National Court on September 18, 2009 on the proceedings which had been filed by Hanjung Power Limited against the State.
The court gave Hanjung Power two months to supply 25 percent of power. ONE PNG / Post Courier

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