Construction work is expected to begin later this year on the 3MW Divune hydropower project in the Oro Province of Papua New Guinea following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU). PPL said it expects the project to be complete in 2015.
Nearly 40 years since the hydro project on the Divune River was first discussed, eight clan members of the Divune Landowner Company, the Oro Provincial Government and PNG Power Ltd (PPL) signed the MOU which will allow PPL access to the project site to commence work as the developer. Project funding is coming from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) under its Town Electrification Improvement Program (TEIP).
During the signing ceremony at Waju Village in Kokoda, Oro Governor Garry Juffa said that the project had been delayed for too long and praised the landowners for the effort in ensuring it finally got off the ground.
"This project has been delayed because of disputes and unhappiness but it is now encouraging to see the landowners coming and working together," he said. "If we didn't come together then we won't have this project.
"Now that we have signed the MOU, we must allow the developer PNG Power and ADB to come in and commence work and we will assist them in whatever way we can so that we can deliver this major project."
Governor Juffa added that the provincial government and the landowner company were satisfied that the MOU protects all of their interest and it is a document that can lead to greater agreements and more stringent arrangements that will ensure sharing of benefits from spin-offs.
The development of the Divune project will see the building of transmission and service lines to Kokoda Station and down to Popondetta, connecting villages along the road. From Popondetta, supply will also be extended to Girua Airport and to Oro Bay.