The newly appointed PNG Power Board of Directors held their first meeting on January 28 at the National office in Hohola.

After a lengthy waiting period, the Board was finally appointed on January 15 and commenced their appointment soon after.

The meeting was more an orientation session for the new board with the PPL Executive Management Team (EMT).

Public Enterprises and State Investments Minister Ben Micah also attended the first meeting and delivered a challenging speech.

Mr. Micah said that the Prime Minister Peter O’Neil has made it clear that State Owned companies will now become the left arm of the government in terms of services.

He said that PNG Power must no longer be complacent in providing electricity to the urban centres and project areas and said the challenge is now to provide the service to 100% of the population.

“We have to be innovative, we have to be creative and look at other means of providing power using other sources like solar energy, wind, geothermal, biogas and even use of generators which can be established cost effectively.

“That is the message that the PM wants for us to drive in each SOE and we must deliver,” said Mr. Micah.

He told the Board that it was unfortunate that it took a long time in getting the appointments done as many people were recommended but they were the chosen ones.

“It was not easy task to come up with the final composition of the board and the cabinet saw the wisdom of balancing gender, balancing all provinces around the country and to ensure we are able to have on the board people with various skills,” Mr. Micah said.

The challenge now is for PNG Power to deliver and I will announce a policy guideline which will set the parameters upon which you will design your programs, he said.

This is to ensure the company is positioned in a manner in which it will be able to drive the government’s agenda.

“I would also like to say, do not expect any more support from the government.

“I believe we can do better and deliver upon what is required of us. The economy of the country is now growing and I believe this is a good business environment which PNG Power can harness,” the Minister said.

He said the Board of Directors will have to sit down and advise on how best PPL can be positioned to meet the government’s goals and objectives.

He expected dividends to be made so that it will make PPL look good and make the government happy with the new board and the company which he said it is the way forward.

Mr. Micah congratulated the Chairman and the new board members and said that he spoke very strongly to cabinet about the recommendations and was confident they won’t let the Government down in performing their duties.

Board Chairman Joshua Bakirie in turn thanked the Minister for his confidence in the new board and looked forward to his new role and working with the rest of the board members.

The new Board of Directors currently consists of 8 members.

They are Joshua Bakirie, Director of Melanesian Trustee Services Ltd based in Singapore and Port Moresby, Thomas Laka, the Deputy Chairman is the Owner and Managing Director of Al-Omega Accountants based in Port Moresby, Finkewe Zurenuoc, a Senior Electrical Engineer for Kramer Ausenco based in Lae and Lihir, Sana Somare, Managing Director of ASPAC Construction Ltd based in Port Moresby and Singapore, Robert Bradshaw, Owner and Managing Director of Bradshaw Lawyers in Port Moresby, Mr. Sylvester Kenatsi, Chief Operating Officer for NAC based in Port Moresby, Peter Suar, the Chairman of Lihir Mine Area Landowner Association (LMALA) based in Lihir and Camden Pratt.