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PNG Has Potential to become Global Leader in Production of Green Products : Marape

 PAPUA New Guinea has “the potential of becoming a huge producer of green products for the world” with 19 gigawatts of power already estimated out of the Purari , Kikori and Stricken hydro potentials and the West New Britain geothermal projects, Prime Minister James Marape has been told.

PNG Has Potential to become Global Leader in Production of Green Products : Marape
PNG Has Potential to become World Leader in Production of Green Products : Marape 

Chief Executive Officer of green energy developer Fortescue Future Industries Julie Suttleworth said this on Friday (03.12.21) in her brief to the Prime Minister when the CEO was on her way to visit project sites in Gulf and West New Britain.

She also appraised the geothermal sites of West New Britain as being “one of the top three areas in the world” for Fortescue projects.

The CEO was responding to the Prime Minister’s query on whether PNG green energy potential would meet the projection as set by FFI owner and environmentalist, Dr. Andrew Forrest, who said PNG could provide up to 25 gigawatts of power from its renewable energy sources.

Suttleworth said: “We have currently indicated that there was about 15 gigawatts of hydropower that is in the Master Development Agreement that we could access. So we are starting at 15 gigawatts of hydropower; there is approximately 4.3 gigawatts of geothermal also that we have identified at this stage.

“This is early days; there may be more. So that totals to about 19 gigawatts that our study team has already identified. Not quite 25 gigawatts yet, but we hope that over time, we will get to that number. But round now, we know that there is 19 gigawatts of potential.

“If all these projects of about 19 gigawatts of power are developed, they can make over 10 million tonnes per year of green hydrogen, or about 13 million tonnes of green ammonia, or a combination of both, because ammonia is heavier than hydrogen.

“So there is the potential to be a huge producer of green products for the world.

“It is a very important part of our portfolio. We have made a commitment globally to make 15 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year, much of that will come from Australia, but over 2 million tonnes of this will come from PNG which is a huge percentage of our target.

“So the overall vision is to make over 2 million tonnes of green hydrogen from PNG, develop over 19 gigawatts of geothermal and hydropower across the various projects, as well as decarbonise PNG, and have excess for export which is a huge amount to export, because PNG won’t need all. 

“We will be doing the studies on the hydropower system to optimise the design of the hydropower dams phase process. So the first Purari sites will be 3 gigawatts. And then there will be stage by stage development – upper Purari, Strickland and others to get to the total of 15 gigawatts. So that does not all happen at once. Start off lower Purari and then others up to 15 gigawatts.

“And at the same time, we need to do more investigative work on the geothermal potential. Geothermal exploration is very expensive. So you need to do a lot of fieldwork first to determine where is the drill bit is going to go down to determine the geothermal potential. This is not done in many places around the world because it is so expensive. Tens of millions of dollars per one hole. It is very expensive drilling. We think there’s at least 4 gigawatts of geothermal potential that needs to be explored and determined to the best way to develop.

“So part of studies is working out the best way to develop the hydropower resource and the geothermal resource. Once we got that renewable power, we need to put the transmission lines to the industrial hub. So of course, in the hydropower, you are linking Strickland, Upper Purari, Lower Purari altogether, so then take the transmission line to the coast where there is a port location.

“We are optimising, right now, the best location for the port. We got two or three options.

“And then we need to optimise the hydrogen production facility. How many electrolysis do we need to make the best use of power, and that electrolyser will take the renewable power, electrolysis of water - so we need to determine where we getting the water from. Is it going to be seawater, or from the river. And then we have to clean that water up to use for electrolysis.

“Electrolysis will make hydrogen with zero emissions. That hydrogen can be used or exported or made into ammonia. This first project that we do, we’ll probably make ammonia because it is easy to transport ammonia.”

Prime Minister Marape encouraged Suttleworth to explain the process of making green hydrogen and green ammonia because of the lack of knowledge and understanding of how the process worked.

These projects are similar to the magnitude of a large LNG projects in exploration, construction, operation and income generation to the country which has seen Government full support to progress them.

Next : PNG’s first treasurer Predicts Complete Overhaul of National budget after 2022 National General Elections

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