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PNG's Purari hydro Power to become the biggest power plant in the Southern Hemisphere

The Purari hydro power project which will become one of the biggest power plants in the Southern hemisphere is taking shape after the National Executive Council made a decision to resolve ownership issues. 
Public Enterprise Minister Ben Micah announced in Parliament yesterday that the 10,000 kilowatt Purari hydro project will supply cheap power domestically and also supply Australia and Indonesia. 
Mr Micah also indicated that the new Liberal government under Tony Abbott is in discussion with the PNG government on the possibility of not only supplying power but to supply water as well to help solve the drought prone Queensland outback.
He said the National Executive Council had made a decision for all up-stream provincial governments of Eastern Highland, Simbu, Western Highlands and Southern Highlands that supply the Purari system to partner with the Gulf Provincial Government, landowners and international firms to develop a project that “will transform the country”.
He was responding to questions from Gulf Governor Havila Kavo who wanted to know the status of the project.
Mr Micah said during the previous O’Neill-Namah government a contract was awarded to a company called EDL, a partnership between Origin in Australia and PNG Sustainable Development Program to conclude a feasibility study to look at the viability of the project. 
He said some issues such as landownership of the river system, the dam site and power generation plant came before the Ministerial Economic Committee which made a recommendation to Cabinet.
“The National Executive Council’s decision is to set up a special purpose vehicle so that the Government can take ownership of this very large project,” Mr Micah said. 
“According to current feasibility studies, the project can produce up to 10,000 megawatts of power, the largest hydro power project in the Southern hemisphere and one of the top five hydro power projects in the world.
“At the same time the Government has decided that all the up-stream provinces where the rivers originate from will also be part owners of this project together with the Gulf Provincial Government and landowners of Wabo and Purari river systems so that this project can become a model for Papua New Guineans owning a very large project that also has the capability to export power to Australia and Indonesia.”
He said the Cabinet also agreed that the priority will be for domestic power consumption which is projected at $US0.03 (K0.07) per kilowatt hours, making it the cheapest energy source.
“PNG through this project can be transformed into an industrialised country to move into a developed nation status.”

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