Wärtsilä to operate Oil Search PNG gas power plant

Wärtsilä has signed an agreement with NiuPower to be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Port Moresby Power Station, a clean-burning natural gas power plant in Papua New Guinea.

NiuPower is an entity jointly owned by Oil Search and PNG’s national oil company Kumul Petroleum to focus on domestic power production.

Under the deal, which will run for up to five years, Wärtsilä will take full responsibility for the 58 MW power plant which is the first ever utility-scale gas-engine powered plant in PNG.

The plant will operate on six Wärtsilä 34SG engines in order to provide a reliable source of power for the local grid, with operations scheduled to commence in January 2019.

Wärtsilä Australia Managing Director Rey Santos said the new plant was part of a shift towards a focus on cleaner energy.

“The transition towards cleaner energy production is essential for preserving the environment for future generations,” he said.

“The agreement with NiuPower fully supports Wärtsilä’s mission to enable sustainable societies with smart technology.”

NiuPower CEO Richard Robinson said the new plant would vastly increase the stability of the Port Moresby power grid.

“The main target of our agreement with Wärtsilä is to ensure we have access to the experience and expertise essential to ensure reliable operations of our facility,” he said.

“Once online, the NiuPower Port Moresby Power Station will greatly improve the reliability of the Port Moresby power grid and, we have been advised by our customer PNG Power, will reduce the cost of power supply into the grid by up to PGK$100 million (AU$41 million) per annum.

“This project uses PNG produced clean-burning natural gas and will materially reduce both the cost of and emissions from power generation in the country.”

Originating in Finland, Wärtsilä’s Australian subsidiary has extensive workshop facilities in both Sydney and Perth.

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