Friday, January 28, 2011

Blackouts to 2014

PNG Power linesman David Shangi insulating the ABC lines to the transformer connecting the Pacific Star Ltd office along Waigani Drive in NCD. – Nationalpic by EKAR KEAPU
POWER interruptions, the bane of all town and city dwellers, may continue until 2014, The National reports.
That is the somber forecast by the only supplier of electricity in the country, PNG Power.
PNG Power chief executive officer Tony Koiri said at a press conference yesterday that PPL did not have the money to fund urgent work to get reliable electricity supply to all centres.
“We do not want to make any excuses for the recent power outages, he said.
“While there has been a separate initiating incident on each occasion, each of these has led to a more extensive blackout.
“This has exposed weaknesses in the system and PPL is taking steps to replace the faulty electronic equipment that, in most cases, is old.
“We acknowledge that such weak spots should have been identified and maintained proactively,” Koiri said.
Power outages were to continue in the main centres, particularly between 9am and 3pm.
Koiri assured residents in PNG that there were promising prospects for a stable electricity system by 2014, but the biggest concern now was the short-term sustenance of power, especially for the major centres where a lot of business activities occur.
Koiri said PNG Power was looking at other energy sources to supply electricity in the long term. The main aim would be to use natural gas to support the current network and meet the demand for electricity.
PPL and the government had initialed a memorandum of understanding to use gas from the Hides reservoir.
The recent outages had reportedly affected Port Moresby and Lae customers.
In Port Moresby, there was a loss of generating capacity at the Rouna 2 hydropower station and Hanjung’s Kanudi power station.
“This apparently caused tripping at the substations at Boroko and Konedobu.”
There was also a fault at the Waigani sub-station transformers, Koiri said.
After the last festive season, excessive flooding brought down debris that clogged the screens and intake gate at Rouna 2.
Rouna and Kanudi are the main sources of power for Port Moresby.
He said PPL has in place business and development plans for capital investment based on projected operational profit and loan facilities.

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