PM MARAPE SATISFIED WITH DISCUSSIONS ON PNG ELECTRICITY PARTNERSHIP IMPLEMENTATION

Approved for Release: Wednesday, 27th May, 2020

The Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP says the Government of PNG is satisfied with discussions on the smooth implementation of the PNG Electricity Partnership (PEP) project.

He expressed his satisfaction after meeting with the Resident Heads of Mission of the four countries, US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan who are collectively funding this electrification program.

Prime Minister Marape held the discussions with US Ambassador Ms Erin Elizabeth McKee, Japanese Ambassador Kuniyuki Nakahara, Australian High Commissioner John Philp and New Zealand’s Deputy High Commissioner, Davene Vroon on Tuesday (26/05/20).

He acknowledged the four countries reaffirmation and commitment to ensure the PEP project is successfully delivered.

“I am satisfied with our discussions in that we agreed to progress a clear and coordinated pathway for implementation of the PNG Electrification Partnership (PEP) without any further delay,” he said.

Prime Minister Marape said the government prefers the expansion of existing On-Grid facilities rather than development of Off-Grid power generation and distribution, which can be outsourced.

He also encourage the four countries that are funding this project to have it run parallel with the major national road and telecommunication transmission networks programs that are underway in the country.

“This will complement my Government’s plans and policies on developing major economic corridors and providing electricity to 70 per cent of the country’s population by 2025.

“I have issued specific instructions for the establishment of a Technical Working Committee at the Officials level to ensure that this partnership is effectively coordinated and implemented.”

The Committee will be headed by the departments of National Planning & Monitoring and Communication and Energy respectively supported by departments of Petroleum, Treasury, Finance, Prime Minister and NEC, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Kumul Consolidated Holdings Limited and PNG Power Limited.

The Papua New Guinea Electrification Partnership (PEP) project is a $1.7b aid program financed and supported by Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the US.

It aims to connect 70 per cent of PNG’s population to electricity by 2030. The partnership was sealed during the November 2018 APEC Leaders’ Summit in Port Moresby.