Sunday 24 May 2015 – A delegation from the Department of Public Enterprises visited landowners from the Wampar LLG, Morobe Province, participating in the PNG Biomass Project . The delegation headed by the Secretary, Dr Clement Waine, and the Deputy Secretary, Dr MiokKomolong, and accompanied by several officers from the Department, were interested in speaking directly to local landowner groups to gain an understanding of the relationship and engagement with the project developers, Aligned Energy (PNG) Ltd and Oil Search (PNG) Ltd.

The Department of Public Enterprises is in the process of formulating a Landowner Participation Policy for State-owned Enterprises as the SOEs invest in major economic projects around the country. The Deputy Secretary, Dr Komolong, acknowledged that “the PNG Biomass Project has a successful model for engaging with landowners to mobilise their land for planting trees for the Power Generation Plant”.

The delegation was welcomed by Cr WaiyaLangim, Wampar LLG, and landowner spokesperson and clan leader, Sam Meyab, briefed the delegation on the landowners experience with PNG Biomass. He outlined the positive working relationship, and the social and economic benefits that local communities have gained from engagement in the plantation establishment and maintenance activities. Sam Meyab urged the Secretary to recommend to the Government that the PNG Biomass Project be given the necessary approvals to enable the project to proceed.

The meeting, hosted by landowner Martin Eris at Furif Land alongside the Highlands Hwy, was joined later by the Honourable Jim Kas, Governor of Madang, and Honourable AntoneYagama, Member for UsinoBundi who were returning from Lae to Madang. The Governor of Madang and the Member for UsinoBundi were briefed by Michael Henson, PNG Biomass Project Director, on the developments plans for the Biomass Project. Mr Henson also demonstrated an application of biomass power using a Biolite Stove used to generate power to provide lighting and recharge mobile phones.

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