Technical assistance aims to help “turn on the lights” for millions
The World Bank will advise the government of Papua New Guinea to help the country expand electricity access for millions in Port Moresby and in rural communities, under an US$8 million technical assistance project approved last Thursday by the Bank’s board of directors.
“Improving electricity access is one of Papua New Guinea’s most urgent needs, to move people out of the dark along with hospitals, schools and businesses,” said World Bank PNG country manager Laura Bailey.
"Clean and affordable electricity will greatly improve people's lives, especially women, whose life and work will be easier, safer, and more productive with better electricity access."
The bank’s technical assistance for PNG’s energy sector development supports the government’s goal of increasing electricity access from 10% today – one of the lowest electrification rates in the world – to 70% by 2030.
Specifically, the Bank will assist the government to develop national policies on renewable energy and rural electrification.
In addition, the bank will finance studies to help the government and PNG Power ensure social and environmental concerns are fully addressed before they begin development of the Naoro Brown hydropower project.
"Sustainable energy development is essential for the country to reach its potential," said Rendle Rimua from the government of PNG.
"Effective use of renewable energy will, in the long-term, increase energy security and create a brighter future for PNG."
“Greater development of renewable energy could provide an important clean source of electricity, in Papua New Guinea as in other countries," said Tony Koiri, CEO of PNG Power.
"If properly managed, hydropower can benefit local communities and improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable with low emissions, helping to achieve a green energy future for the people of PNG."
The four-year technical assistance project is financed by an IDA credit and a grant from the Global Environment Facility, and will be implemented by the Department of Petroleum and Energy and PNG Power Ltd.