Australian Firm Explores Opportunities in PNG

Australian firm, Fortescue Metals Group, will begin work in Papua New Guinea to explore opportunities in PNG’s energy sector.

This follows the signing of a geothermal deed of agreement between the firm and government, through Kumul Consolidated Holdings Ltd, on Tuesday.

Picture Credit: Fortescue Metals Group

PNG Prime Minister James Marape said this was an indication that investors were still interested in investing in the country despite the downturn in the economy brought on by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“In the midst of a global pandemic, countries are looking for investors and Papua New Guinea has a friend closer to home, choosing PNG as an investment destination,” said Marape.

He said PNG can be a hub for generating clean energy into the future.

As reported by The National, Fortescue Chairman Dr Andrew Forrest said this deed will mark PNG’s first step towards developing a significant industry that will never run out of resources.

“Renewable energy is infinite,” said Forrest.

He said they will ensure that development occurs at no cost to the environment.

“Our project team is with you now in PNG to meet with responsible people and authorities.

“Prime Minister (James Marape), it is my genuine hope that we stand side by side representing PNG to the world showing just how strong it can be in this new era in what will be the world's largest industry,” said Forrest.

Public Enterprises and State Investment Minister William Duma said the agreement recognized the government's support for the commercial development of PNG’s geothermal resources.

He said this would support green industrial operations domestically or be used to export energy to international markets, setting the path for sustainable green energy in the country.

“Such a project would require social, environmental, and technical feasibility studies to be carried out for geothermal power generation facilities, power transmission lines, and possibly a coastal port and industrial precinct,” he said.

Duma also mentioned provinces with potential for further exploration which included West New Britain, Miline Bay, Madang, East Sepik, and Morobe.


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