The Department of Petroleum and Energy, PNG Power and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) today released the National Distribution Grid Expansion Plan at a seminar in Port Moresby.
The plan details how the Government of Papua New Guinea will expand the grid to rural communities around PNG Power’s 34 provincial grids. Preparation of the plan was supported by ADB as part of its contribution to the PNG Government’s National Electrification Rollout Plan.
Participants at the PNG Power-hosted seminar were told that grid expansion was vital to improving the lives of rural households and will offer income generating opportunities. Reliable, grid-connected power is also crucial for economic development in small communities. The event was attended by around 40 stakeholders including government and donor partners.
“ADB is pleased to partner with PNG Power Limited to enable more people to benefit from having access to an electricity supply,” said Anthony Maxwell, ADB Senior Energy Specialist. “Households, schools and clinics as well as businesses will benefit.”
“The National Distribution Grid Expansion Plan is a crucial planning tool for PNG Power to boost ongoing efforts to connect the people in rural areas to the electricity grid,” said PNG Power Acting Chief Executive Officer, Chris Bais.
Only about 12% of PNG’s population is currently connected to the electricity grid.
“Grid expansion to areas near the existing grids will be an important component of achieving the overall government target of connecting 70% of the population by 2030,” said Vore Veve, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Petroleum and Energy.
The seminar discussed the technical basis behind the plan, options for rolling out the construction, and options for financing.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.