Ladies and Gentlemen:
While I celebrate this great achievement which follows under the Energy Sector, I am mindful of both Papua New Guinea’s enormous and untapped potential in energy sources – and the major challenges we face in meeting our responsibilities as Government of the Day in this sector.
We are duty-bound to ensure that sufficient power is generated, transmitted, distributed and retailed to reach 70 per cent of our households by 2030 – and to have 100 % of our power sourced from renewable energy sources.
The National Energy Policy 2017-2022 Harnessing Energy for Life endorsed by the National Executive Council chaired by the Honourable Prime Minister in February recognizes and acknowledges this duty and responsibility:
As Minister responsible for Energy in the O’Neill Government, and as Member of Bulolo, I am very much aware we have a two-pronged focus in harnessing energy for life in our country:
1) The first focus is our social obligation and responsibility to ensure that electricity is available to all – or at least as many of our people and residents as possible. I have said before, and repeat again, we cannot have high voltage transmission lines take electricity to others while ignoring and leaving our people - those who live under these transmission lines – without lights and without power. We must systematically, and in a cohesive and coordinated way, rise to this duty, obligations and challenge. I am pleased, as I am sure many of you are, that funding from development partners – United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan of US$1.7 billon has been committed for the National Electricity Roll-out Plan (NEROP).