The PNG Biomass Joint Venture wanted to support the PNG Government’s initiatives and policies to find a long-term energy solution that provides secure, competitive, base load power.
In addition, there was to be a focus on creating employment in regions away from conventional energy resources in a manner that creates social, environmental and development benefits and opportunities for PNG and its citizens.
Delivering power for PNG is a major part of country development:
- Over 90 out of every 100 of PNG‘s citizens do not have access to reliable power capable ofsupporting everyday needs.
- PNG is rich in natural resources but the distribution of benefits and opportunities, including jobs and business development, for PNG citizens, is often restricted to close to resource project areas.
- The PNG Government is targeting a major PNG electrification program with the objective ofincreasing citizen’s access to power to over 55% of households by 2025 (Medium Term Development Plan goals) and Biomass power of 42 MW by 2025.
The objective of the PNG Biomass Project is to implement an energy development that meets all international sustainability criteria and has major social, economic and reputation benefits for PNG by:
- Providing competitive and sustainable base-load power for PNG citizens.
- Reducing the reliance on fuel imports and creating energy independence.
- Creating long term opportunities for PNG citizens and supporting country development.
- Providing stable power for schooling, medical, community and business development.
- Creating a project owned by PNG companies with the benefits staying in PNG.
The project is forecast to generate over 4,500 jobs during construction, ongoing operation of the powerplant, establishment and tendering of the plantations bringing a long-term positive impact to the local economy. Of this employment, PNG nationals will constitute more than 95% of the total workforce.
The local community will also benefit directly from payments made to landowners in relation to land rent, significant employment opportunities and other community payments. In addition, the local landowners will benefit by having access to expanded roads and infrastructure that will improve the efficiency of growing local food producers for self-use and for sale at markets.
A major benefit of the Project is the substantial cost savings in power purchases compared to the diesel alternative, over the period 2017 – 2037+. This will flow through to spending on additional power supplies, greater investor confidence and extending power infrastructure in the Ramu district, producing further community benefits and employment creation.
Over the project life, a 30 MW PNG Biomass Power Project, will save emissions of over 5 million tonnes of CO2 compared to diesel power alternatives. This will enhance community well-being and PNG’s international reputation with a commitment to sustainable power. In addition, by substituting biomass for diesel in power generation, a 30 MW biomass project will avoid the importation of approximately 10 million barrels of diesel over a 30-year contract period.
- Alternative power options to Biomass create few full time positions.
- Biomass power stations and associated plantations generate significant employment.
- Plantation operations, harvest equipment and transport requires operators and maintenance personnel.
- Biomass creates potential opportunities in co-farming (food gardens, agriculture, etc.).
Maximum Positive Impact on Population
- Nearly 50% of PNG’s population lives within 50km of the Ramu Grid.
- A integrated solution of biomass, hydro and gas provides greater reliability and stability of the Ramu grid.
- A portfolio of power generation solutions provides lower risk and allows the best solution for each area.
- Biomass has maximum positive impact on the community and is capable of supporting future growth.
Low Environmental Impact and Greatest Sustainability
- The PNG Biomass plantations will be certified to International Standards.
- Approximately 200,000 tonnes CO2/year will be saved compared to diesel or fuel oil.
- About 20 million trees will be planted as long as the trees grow and energy is required the project will deliver stable, competitive and base load energy.
- Targeted to be owned, operated and controlled by PNG companies and citizens.
- Biomass has negligible emissions of sulphur and nitrous oxides.