Hydropower

Norwegian firm will oversee hydropower rehabilitation and new development in Papua New Guinea

Multiconsult, an engineering firm based in Oslo, Norway, will work in Papua New Guinea, rehabilitating and modernizing two hydropower projects and developing a new facility.

According to an announcement today from Multiconsult, state-owned Papua New Guinea Power Ltd. (PPL) has awarded the firm a contract to supervise rehabilitating and modernizing 18-MW Yonki Toe of Dam and 10-MW Warangoi hydropower projects. The firm will also oversee new construction for the 3-MW Ramazon hydropower plant.

The total amount of the contract awarded to Multiconsult is not immediately available.

The rehab, modernization and new development work is part of a US$55.9 million loan approved in July to Papua New Guinea from Asian Development Bank (ADB) to fund the Town Electrification Investment Program (TEIP) Tranche 2.

TEIP is a move by ADB to fund infrastructure work in rural areas of Papua New Guinea.

TEIP Tranche 1 was approved in late 2010. In February 2011, ADB provided $57.3 million in funding to support run-of-river hydro plants in Northern Province and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. Tranche 1 also funded construction and installation of a 66-kV transmission line in West New Britain.

Projects
The Yonki Toe Dam powerhouse has two vertical shaft Francis turbines and is a separate facility of the Yonki Dam project, which was commissioned in 1991 at a cost of $140 million. The project includes an earthen embankment dam over Ramu River that impounds Yonki Reservoir, which provides flow to the 77-MW Ramu 1 hydropower facility.

PPL said the major work at Yonki Toe Dam will consist of:

  • Construction of the steel surge tank and associated works; 
  • Design and modifications of the generator cooling systems; 
  • Replacement of one damaged butterfly valve; and 
  • Replacing/re-enforcing 62 meters of damaged penstock.

The Warangoi project is located 30 km from Kokopo, in East New Britain. The major work includes the following:

  • Remedial construction at intake structures and headrace tunnel, and construction of river training system; 
  • Refurbishing hydromechanical items – inverted radial gates, intake gates, sand trap gate and gravel trap gate, penstock; 
  • Supplying and installing stoplogs, flume wall and invert plates, intake screen, gravel trap gate, compressed air system; 
  • Cleaning trashrack and related parts; 
  • Constructing new control room; and 
  • Refurbishing and replacing electromechanical components.

PPL thinks once the proposed rehab and modernization projects are completed, it will result in extending the economic life of the plants by 20 to 25 years.

The Ramazon run-of-river small hydropower project will include:

  • Constructing a concrete weir; 
  • A 5-km-long pipeline; 
  • Penstock; 
  • Powerhouse; and 
  • New access roads.

Papua New Guinea has about 580 MW of installed hydropower capacity and PPL accounts for the majority of supply, with about 380 MW in hydro assets.

PPL said completing TEIP Tranche 2 projects will help provincial urban centers by replacing diesel power generation with renewable hydropower. Establishing key transmission links along major population corridors will also boost connectivity outside the main provincial centers and help address a significant investment hurdle for provincial governments responsible for rural electrification.

Currently, only about 20% of the island nation’s rural population has access to reliable electricity.

PPL owns and operates thermal and hydropower generation facilities as a fully integrated power authority. It is responsible for generation, transmission, distribution and retail electricity sale throughout Papua New Guinea.