PNG’S transmission challenge
While more electricity is becoming available to state utility PNG Power, its next challenge is the improvement of its transmission network.
An analysis of the coutnry’s three main power grids has revealed that inadequate maintenance of plants and the transmission lines is the primary cause of frequent power outages, according to a review conducted by London-based consultants, Economic Consulting Associates.
The report calls for ‘a strenuous effort’ over the next two years to ensure the grids meet internationally accepted sector benchmarks.
‘Basically, the review concluded that there is sufficient existing generating capacity within each of the grids to meet current demand,’ the International Finance Corporation’s Country Manager, Gavin Murray, told Business Advantage PNG.
‘The key issue is that the power cannot be delivered to the consumer in a reliable way, due to poor availability of generating assets and deficiencies in the maintenance and operation of the transmission grids.’ The consultants concluded that demand for the Port Moresby grid could increase by between 3% and 6%; the Ramu grid by between 2.5% and 5%; and the Gazelle grid by between 1% and 3.5% over the next 10 years.
hence our investment in a data centre,’ he said.
‘It’s a large investment and it is an example of how a state-owned enterprise can build an infrastructure, using best practice from overseas, for the banking, mining or private sector to onshore its data.’
For most of the past decade, telecommunications services in PNG have been costly.
‘In the last 18 months,’ says Donnelly, ‘we’ve reduced the wholesale price for data by about 60% and the plan is to continue to drop that over the coming two to three years to get it to a point where we’re achieving international benchmarks.’
Interconnection and termination fees are also coming down, he says.
‘But, ultimately, what’s going to drive the price down is connecting consumers, businesses and organisations to that network and then allowing more entrants to enter the market to really drive the prices down.’
Telikom will also spend about K26 million in 2016 on wifi and fibreoptics, laying additional fibre around the country.