Chairman Paul Goai (right) and Vice Chairman Sam Meyab (middle) of the Agu Ganef Family Business Group with the signed land lease and development agreements with Stakeholder Engagement Manager of PNG Biomass Jessie Mitir
Landowners in the Markham Valley have signed a historic land lease and development agreement with PNG Biomass. The land lease enables site clearing, construction and operation of the largest renewable energy park in the Pacific Islands region. The development agreement ensures benefits will flow to present landowners and future generations.
PNG Biomass is operated by Markham Valley Biomass Limited as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oil Search Limited. The renewable energy park will consist of a 30MW biomass power plant funded by Oil Search and an associated 17MW solar farm with battery storage funded by the Australian Government and European Union. The renewable energy project will contribute to the electrification of PNG and drive social development and employment in the Markham Valley.
Landowners underlined the importance of the project and 45-year agreement by signing the land lease on Papua New Guinea’s 45th Independence Anniversary.
The signing ceremony was small but significant in nature. Representatives from PNG Biomass attended in person and by virtual video link. Executives of the Agu Ganef Family Business Group (AGFBG) were joined by several generations of women and men to observe the landmark moment.
Stakeholder Engagement Manager of PNG Biomass, Jessie Mitir, welcomed the landowners. “Today we welcome elders, mothers and fathers, children and grandchildren. A wonderful representation of the generations who will benefit from this project. You all are paving the way for sustainable green energy development. Not only for your own family and community, also for the Province and Nation for the next 45 years,” said Jessie Mitir.
The signing took place at the PNG Biomass office at 9-Mile in Lae. Followed by a ceremony on Ganef land in Chivasing, Wampar LLG, Huon Gulf District in Morobe Province. Orogwangin clansman, Luke Kifas, expressed gratitude to witness for the first time an agreement that will bring tangible benefits to his community.
Kipu Meyab shared her sentiments on behalf of the women of Ganef. She thanked PNG Biomass for the long and genuine consultations to achieve this outcome. Kipu acknowledged her late relatives who had paved the way since 2011 for the clan and Agu Ganef family to achieve this historic moment.
Closing the ceremony, AGFBG Chairman Paul Goai and Vice Chairman Sam Meyab shared a heartfelt moment of gratitude. They thanked Oil Search, PNG Biomass, the Australian Government and European Union for the solar farm, and all other investors and supporters making this renewable energy park possible, on their land. Welcoming them all to visit Ganef land now and far into the future.