Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Massive irrigation system plan for palm oil


THE biggest-ever multi-million kina water irrigation project in PNG – the ‘Ramu Pipeline’ - is being built at Gusap in Madang province by Ramu Agri Investments Ltd (RAIL) for its palm oil estate, The National reports.
The 440km long irrigation project, the first of its kind in PNG, is at the core of RAIL’s plans for palm oil expansion in Gusap and could set the benchmark for such similar projects in the country.

Workmen laying mainlines for the 440km 'Ramu Pipeline' at Gusap last Thursday.-Nationalpic by MALUM NALU

RAIL general manager Jamie Graham did not disclose any figures for the irrigation project.
But he said it ran into the “millions”.
He said the irrigation project was necessitated by low rainfall and soil fertility and would be carried out over 620ha to see if it was viable.
“The irrigation project is very important to us,” Graham said,
“It’s a unique project in many ways.”
RAIL irrigation and infrastructure manager Adrian van Boven, who gave The National a tour of the project site, said it should be completed by mid 2013.
“We take water from the Gusap River,” he said.
“It comes through the channel and enters the pump supply.
“This pumps the water up to the field.
“We will have a supply of water all year around.
“We expect completion in mid-2013.”
Van Boven said Nawae Construction was carrying out civil works and building the shed, while four teams of RAIL employees were carrying out all other work including laying out 440km of irrigation pipes.
“This is a big project, but the key to it is having the right people and right equipment,” he said.
“We have to get the right people, train them and support them.”
Irrigation team leader Jedii Nabot said his workers were excited about the project as it was the first of its kind in PNG.
“We’re very excited because this is a new thing that is happening in this country,” he said.
“We started laying of the pipes in April.
“We expect to complete this project by next May.”
Mainline team leader Nathan Komea said his team of five workers was very excited about taking part in the project.
“We only install big pipes and big fittings,” he said.
“It’s a new thing and we’re all enjoying it.”
Project equipment include one excavator, two bulldozers, three trencher machines, two tractors and two slashers.

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