More than 2,500 kms of field traverses, soil sampling and studies were conducted across PNG to identify areas suitable for biomass plantations and to understand the land use and regional community and business requirements.
Over 180,000 trees have been planted at over 30 sites across PNG to evaluate growth and survival rates in order to select the best species of tree to support large-scale plantations.Studies were conducted in cooperation with the PNG Forestry Department and Forest Research Institute to enhance indigenous species. The project participated in a sealed tender for Lae Power conducted by PPL.
With a PPA signed with PPL to underwrite the initial 15 MWe, agreements are negotiated with landowners to lease land covering 16,000 ha to be planted under sustainable forestry practices. While 9,000 ha is required to generate 15 MWe, the planting of 16,000 allows for rapid expansion to meet the expected demand, and provides fuel certainty.
The 15 MWe power plant modules will be constructed within the plantation area and the power will be tied into the 132kV Ramu electricity grid commencing first delivery of power by 2020.
Ultimately 30 MWe of sustainable power can be provided into the Ramu grid indefinitely at a highly competitive cost and the plantations can produce additional valued-added wood products.