Popondetta gearing up for TEIP

PNG Power staff in Popondetta are gearing up for the anticipated Divune Hydro Power development under the Town Electrification Investment Program (TEIP).

The 3 MW hydro power station is funded under TEIP by the Asian Development Bank with support from the PNG Government and PNG Power, and is expected be completed by 2014.

The TEIP initiative, which also promotes the use of greener technology, will see the hydro facility replace the high cost diesel power station currently used in Popondetta.

Centre Manager Mr Iga Raka said the new hydro station, to be constructed 60 kilometers from the town in the Kokoda area, would more than cater for the town’s demand which is currently at 1.3MW.

He said the new power station would cater for existing and any new developments that may take place in the next three years.

Mr Raka said the power project would connect current energy consumers in Popondetta particularly commercial, industry and domestic sectors, agroindustries including oil palm estates, and rural villages.

He said communities in the subproject sites will receive safety awareness and trainings on power and water supply maintenance, utility budget management, business management skills, and leadership and organisational management skills.

These skills will increase these peoples’ ability to effectively participate in the project design, implementation and monitoring.

Mr Raka said PNG Power’s project management team has visited the hydro site and is liaising with the provincial and Sohe district administration and landowners to ensure all land issues are settled before the project gets underway.

He added his team has already begun upgrading the town reticulation to cater for the linkup to the new station.

Meanwhile, Mr Raka said PPL’s thermal engineers have flown into the province to start maintenance works on two generation units at the diesel power station.

The generators, which supply 1.5MW, were off for some time due to technical problems and he expected maintenance to be completed in May.

At the moment, the town is making do with the remaining two generators which are producing around 1.3MW, just enough to supply consumers there.