A 58 MW gas-fired power plant supplied and constructed by the technology group Wärtsilä near Port Moresby, the capital and largest city of Papua New Guinea, has been inaugurated by the Hon. James Marape, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea on 6 December 2019. The plant is the first ever utility-scale gas engine project in the country, and in addition to enhancing the reliability of the local electricity grid, it will make a notable contribution to easing the carbon footprint of Papua New Guinea’s energy generation.
The facility was built on an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) basis by Wärtsilä in partnership with Australia-based Clough Ltd, a provider of construction and asset support services. It is part of an infrastructure building programme being developed by NiuPower, a company established to focus on the development of power generation in the country. NiuPower is jointly owned by Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (Papua New Guinea’s national oil company) and Oil Search Limited.
Operating on six highly efficient, clean-burning Wärtsilä 34SG gas engines, the plant is providing a reliable source of baseload power for the local grid. The net capacity of 58MWe represents approximately 29% of the installed capacity of the Port Moresby System. Since no diesel fuel will be required, NiuPower anticipates that it will create annual savings of approximately 100 million Papua New Guinean kina (25.6 million euro).
Wärtsilä is responsible for the full operation and maintenance of the plant, thereby ensuring optimal performance at all times. This lifecycle solution has the benefit of remote monitoring from Wärtsilä Expertise Centres.
NiuPower’s CEO, Michael Uiari, commented: “This power plant is an extremely important addition to Papua New Guinea’s energy portfolio, and we are very pleased with the technology and services provided by Wärtsilä that will allow us to meet our economic and environmental targets for the project. We also appreciate the fact that the power plant was built according to the rather demanding time schedule, and again we thank both Wärtsilä and Clough for this.”