Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

Connecting communities to more reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity

Australia’s High Commissioner Jon Philp announced this week, a new project that will provide access to more reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity through upgrades to six provincial grid facilities owned by PNG Power Limited (PPL) across Papua New Guinea.

The PGK67 million (AUD25 million) investment will replace inefficient and costly diesel generation with lower cost electrification models such as solar, batteries and low emission technologies. These urgent upgrades will cut costs and connect remote villages to reliable and renewable electricity.

The High Commissioner announced the new project from one of the provincial grid sites, Finschhafen in Morobe Province.

The delegation with PPL workers in front of the power station in Finschhafen. The infrastructure will be upgraded under this project.

“By investing in these facilities, Australia aims to reduce the costs of electricity generation, move towards cleaner electricity solutions and most importantly, improve the lives of people living in nearby communities,” he said. 

The project will support significant upgrades to PPL-owned provincial grid infrastructure in Aitape, Daru, Finschhafen, Kerema, Maprik and Vanimo. It will also support distribution upgrades to increase household energy access and improved models to increase provincial ownership and private sector investment.

The benefits of reliable electricity access are particularly profound for women, children and people from marginalised groups. Electricity enables more lighting after dark, leading to safer communities and opportunities for children to continue their learning. It also reduces negative health impacts associated with burning fuel for cooking and can reduce overall household costs.

“Access to electricity is a key enabler for social and economic recovery and prosperity,” said the High Commissioner.

“More reliable electricity access will contribute to safer, healthier communities, while catalysing Papua New Guinea’s economic recovery and growth through opportunities for private sector investment and entrepreneurship.”

With only 13% of PNG’s population connected to an electricity grid, there is a strong need to increase access, not only through extension of the main grids, but also through provincial grids and standalone home systems.

This investment is part of Australia’s commitment under the PNG Electrification Partnership, which was formed in 2018 at the APEC Leaders’ Summit. Under the Partnership, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the United States are working together to help PNG meet its ambitious target to connect 70% of the country to electricity by 2030.

For further information, including access to related materials, please contact the Australian High Commission media team: +675 7090 0100