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Cover photos: Roy Daggy (left), Executive Manager – Regulated Industries Division together with ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Paulus Ain, handing over the electricity generation licence to PNG Biomass Project Director Michael Henson and Government Affairs Supervisor, Nicholas Koromugo.

Markham Valley Biomass Limited, trading as PNG Biomass, received today from the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) an electricity generation licence to generate and supply power.

By issuing the generation licence, ICCC confirms that PNG Biomass is in compliance with all licensing requirements under the Electricity Industry Act (EIA) and other industry legislation and regulations.

PNG Biomass is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oil Search Limited holding a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with PNG Power Limited (PPL) to generate 15 megawatts of biomass power in the Markham Valley in Morobe Province to supply into the Ramu Grid.

The ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Paulus Ain, said that PNG Biomass submitted its licence application to ICCC on 17 July 2017 for review and approval. The Electricity Management Committee (EMC) reviewed the technical aspects of the application concurrently with ICCC’s internal assessment.

Commissioner Ain said that after having assessed the application, ICCC found it to be consistent with section 24E and 24F of the EIA and taking into consideration EMC’s positive recommendation, ICCC considers PNG Biomass to be a suitable entity to hold a generation licence.

With the approval PNG Biomass has become the first large scale renewable energy project with a generation licence in PNG.

Project Director of PNG Biomass, Michael Henson, said the generation licence was the final legal requirement for the Project and PNG Biomass is now fully approved and endorsed.

“We are one of only two IPPs selected through an international competitive tender process and part of the ‘Least Cost Development Plan’ for the Ramu Grid. We signed a 25-year PPA with PPL that was endorsed by NEC and price-approved by ICCC. We are also part of PNG’s 100-day plan for economic growth. We have been issued an Environment Permit in April this year and now also secured a Generation Licence.”

“We are ready to commence construction to supply PNG with renewable, sustainable and reliable energy from an adaptable, scalable, and clean local fuel source. Best of all, our biomass power price is low, it is cheaper than diesel, heavy fuel oil, and most fossil fuels – and even cheaper than new large hydro projects.

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