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Electricity provided in PNG must not only be accessible but affordable, says Basil

The supply of electricity in the country must not only be accessible by a large proportion of PNG but the electricity services that are provided must be reliable.
This was stressed by the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and Energy Sam Basil  at the 1st Ramu Grid Roundtable workshop for key stakeholders of the Ramu Power Grid.
With the theme, "Towards Accessible, Reliable and Affordable Electricity, as a key Enabler for Economic Growth and Prosperity" the workshop is aimed at providing the participants the opportunity to describe their current consumption levels and future demand requirements and what they are willing to pay for the electricity.
In opening the workshop, Minister Basil said the Government's recent undertaking as outlined in the Alotau Accord II is to create an environment in Papua New Guinea where it will continue to develop and maintain key productivity infrastructure assets, including the utilities such as Electricity to create a public - private partnership in the energy sector to improve and upgrade provision of accessible, reliable and affordable electricity in PNG.
"The National Development Strategic Plan 2030 projects that by the year 2030, 70 percent of the population will have access to electricity in PNG.
"This I consider to be a major challenge, however I believe that an initiative such as the National Electricity Roll Out Plan (NEROP) has the potential to contribute significantly to this projection if resourced and implemented.
"NEROP requires government funding, however for this to happen NEC must sanction this plan. I intend to take NEROP to cabinet for consideration and approval.
"I will also seek Off Grid solutions that can be provided by investing in Pico and micro hydro, solar, wind small scale geothermal, bio-mass and smart technologies, like I was doing in my electorate," Minister Basil explained.
He said the Ramu Grid is the largest of three systems in PNG covering seven provinces (Morobe, Madang, EHP, Chimbu, Western Highlands, Jiwaka and Enga) with 1.1 million households located within 20 kilometers of the current Ramu Grid and will drive the economic heartland of PNG.
Minister Basil said it is important that the villages in those seven provinces in which the power grid will run benefit from the project.
He said at the end of the workshop he would like clarity on the State's current policy intentions on the role of private sector investment in the Ramu Grid and a determination on how to optimize the generation and utilization of electricity from the Ramu Grid.
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