By MALUM NALU
One of the major infrastructure projects I covered this month was the opening of the K100 million PNG Forest Products' Upper Baiune Hydro Power Project in Bulolo, Morobe province
PNG Forest Products now operates three hydro power stations with a combined installed capacity of 14.9MW at Baiune, some 20 minutes from Bulolo, following the opening of the Upper Baiune Hydro Power Project on Saturday, March 2, 2013.
These power stations supply all of the company’s production, commercial and residential power requirements.
|The new Upper Baiune hydro power station.-Nationalpics by MALUM NALU|
PNGFP also supplies bulk power to PNG Power’s Ramu grid and to Wau.
PNGFP operates as the power supply authority in Bulolo supplying power to local businesses and domestic consumers.
|PNGFP plaque acknowledging major contributors to the project.|
PNGFP has just completed the construction of a new 9.4MW power station at Upper Baiune to generate additional power to supply to PNG Power’s Ramu grid.
This is a major undertaking for the company and is the first such project in PNG whereby a hydro power station has been built by a private organisation as a commercial venture for the sole purpose of supplying power to PNG Power.
|Visitors touring the new hydro power plant on Saturday, March 2, 2013.|
“The Upper Baiune Hydro Power Project was first conceived in late 2006 when PNGFP became interested in supplying additional power to PNG Power,” says PNGFP managing director Tony Honey.
“It was obvious that a good potential for further hydro power development existed immediately above the existing Upper Baiune intake as there is a 270m fall in the river over a straight line distance of only 2km.
“PNGFP engaged the services of Snowy Mountain Engineering Corporation (SMEC) to conduct a prefeasibility study to confirm the potential for further hydro power development and we then subsequently negotiated a power purchase agreement with PNG Power.
“With a commitment from PNG Power that they would purchase the power that would become available if the project was viable, we were able to proceed with a full feasibility study which was conducted by SMEC.
|Intake area at the Baiune River.|
“During the feasibility study, it became apparent the project would be viable so we immediately proceeded with an environmental impact assessment and applied to DEC for the necessary environmental permits for the construction and operation of the new power station.”
“On completion of the feasibility study we moved into the design phase with SMEC preparing the tender documentation for construction.
“We then advertised for tenders in both PNG and overseas and the tenders were evaluated by Infratech Management Consultants.
“The contracts for the civil work were awarded to China Railway Construction Group (CRCG), who had undertaken several large projects in Port Moresby, one notable project being the Vision City shopping complex.
“The contract for the electro-mechanical installation was awarded to Asia Pacific Power-Tech (APP) from Hangzhou, China.
“Infratech Management Consultants were appointed as the project manager and resident engineer.
“The construction of the substation, new 33kV transmission line to Lower Baiune and the switch yard at Lower Baiune was carried out by PNGFP.”
Construction work commenced with a ground breaking ceremony in June 2011 and supply of power to PNG Power commenced in December 2012.
“PNGFP also supplies surplus power from its existing power stations to PNG Power.
“The amount of surplus power available is dependent upon the daily load being drawn by PNGFP’s production facilities, and also the water flow in the Baiune River.
“The total amount of power supplied to PNG Power can be as high as 11.5MW on weekends.”