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Basil: PNG Coal power to create 300 jobs

The proposed Coal Power Plant Project to ease the power burden of the Lae city will be able to create more that 300 jobs for locals and an initial K300 million (US$91 million) to set up the project.

This is according to Communications and Energy Minister Sam Basil who said the project will produce 50 Mega watt of Power for Lae City.

Minister Basil in a joint press conference alongside Lae MP John Rosso, Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu, Lae Chamber of Commerce President John Byrne and Unitech Acting Vice Chancellor Dr Ora Renagi said the coal power plant is a very cheap and affordable form of energy source for Lae City to use.

He said upon inspection of the similar plants in Australia, the technology used is very efficient and less costs to produce.

“It will become a affordable reliable power source that will rid Lae City of its continuous blackouts.

“This means PNG Power will have an alternate source of power.”

The power plant he said will be built at 5 Mile outside of Lae City and a pipeline will run through to Lae Wharf.

“The Coal Power system will provide steam to as well that will benefit business in Lae City.

“This byproduct will generate K5 million (US$1.5 million) revenue annually for Lae City Authority and Morobe Provincial Government,” Basil said.

The byproduct of steam can be utilised by businesses such as SP Brewery, Coca Cola Amatil PNG, and other manufacturing companies instead of using diesel powered generators to produce steam.

Minister Basil said PNG can learn from Australia which uses about 70 percent of Coal power for its energy needs.

The establishment of the coal power plant will further generate employment and provide industry opportunities for business as well.

Basil said after 20 years the plant operations will be passed back to Lae City Authority and the provincial government with 25 per cent stake respectively for internal revenue generation.

Lae MP John Rosso said he is behind the concept and that Coal is much cheaper produced at 0.8 US Cents than compared to Hydro Power which costs at 20-25 US Cents.

“Of course we can utilize hydro power and solar power however we can’t always wait for this to happen In the next 20 years. We have situations with blackouts to address immediately and thus the coal power option is the way forward.

“When I looked at the facts and figures of how efficient coal power is used in Australia, it was encouraging to back the idea for the coal power plant to be established in Lae,” Rosso said.

Mayur Resources Managing Director Paul Mulder said that the Coal Power Plant will operate within Environmental Regulations.

He further said that the technology used is advanced and efficient so that it will produce less emissions to the environment.

“The environmental permits forces us to operate according to WHO Standards.”

The University of Technology will be operating a research facility alongside the company to collect data and critical information from the Coal plant power station operations and will be funded by Mayur Resources annually at a figure of K1 million (US$306,000).

Lae Chamber of Commerce President John Bryne said the business community has backed the idea.

This is because it will provide an alternate source of power and it gives confidence to investor operations in Lae.....PACNEWS

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