Concerns raised over Lae Coal Power Plant Proposal

The Morobe Provincial Government says it is conducting its own due diligence tests on a National Government driven proposal to establish a coal-fired power plant in Lae City.

It is understood discussions are currently underway with an unnamed foreign investor. However, PNG Power would not divulge other details of the discussions.

When contacted today, the Morobe Governor, Kelly Naru, told EMTV that he was aware of the discussions but the Provincial Government had not agreed to any terms and conditions.

“Discussions are ongoing and MPG is doing its own due diligence on concerns like environmental impacts and other issues.”

Pollution concerns have become the topic of discussion as environmental groups intensify a campaign to raise awareness over the impact a coal-fired power station would have on the local population and the environment.

“Is the best way to address PNG’s electricity shortfalls building a coal fired power plant?” Nogat Coal PNG asked on Twitter.

For the country of 8 million people it is a delicate balance. On the international front, Papua New Guinea has presented itself as a global member seriously concerned about climate change and alternative energy. But as other countries push for the reduction of coal use, PNG has initiated the discussions much to the dismay of international observers.

On the home front, Papua New Guineans have had to contend with ongoing power outages as the inefficiencies in power generation continue largely unabated.

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Scott Waide

Scott Waide

is the Lae Bureau Chief and began his career with EMTV in 1997 as a News and Sports Reporter and Anchor and has been a media professional for over 19 years. Having previously worked as a Producer and Researcher for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Port Moresby Bureau, he is a recipient of multiple awards including the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union Prize in 2005 in Iran for best news feature, the Pacific Island News Association Award and the Divine Word University Media Freedom Award.