SMEC selected to carry out feasibility study for rehabilitation of Pauanda hydropower project, PNG

30 May 2023

SMEC has been appointed by DT Global, under the Australian Government-funded Economic and Social Infrastructure Program (ESIP), to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study for the rehabilitation of the Pauanda Hydropower Project in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

The Pauanda Hydropower Project, situated approximately 50km southwest of Mount Hagen in the Southern Highlands region, is owned and operated by PNG Power Limited (PPL). PPL is responsible for the generation, transmission, distribution, and retailing of electricity across Papua New Guinea.

Having commenced operations in March 1983, the Pauanda Hydropower Project is a run-of-river facility consisting of two 6MW Francis turbines, resulting in a total rated output of 12MW. However, due to aging infrastructure and a decrease in design flow at the headworks and forebay, the power station currently operates at a reduced capacity of 6 to 8MW.

SMEC's role involves assisting PPL in examining geological concerns at the hydropower plant, particularly the re-establishment of monitoring systems to track movement at the forebay and surrounding areas, including the powerhouse and residential zones. The project's scope encompasses an on-site assessment and a feasibility study exploring various options for upgrading the civil, hydromechanical, and electromechanical components of the facility. The proposed rehabilitation aims to enhance the project's capacity and provide a more reliable power supply to the national grid.

SMEC has previously been involved in the rehabilitation design of other hydropower projects in Papua New Guinea, including the Warangoi Hydropower Project and the Yonki Toe of Dam Hydropower Project. Currently, SMEC is also working on the refurbishment design and tender documentation for the 75MW Ramu-1 Hydropower Project, which is financed by the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific.

The ESIP, a program lasting 15 to 20 years, signifies the Australian Government's dedication to supporting the Government of Papua New Guinea in enhancing its approach to infrastructure planning, procurement, financing, and delivery.

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