Asian Development Bank (ADB) is assisting the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) to develop their power sector by helping them prepare a Power Sector Development Plan.

The draft plan was the focus of an ADB organized consultation workshop in Port Moresby today, which was attended by Government, civil society, donor partners, and private sector representatives.

"Consultation is an important next step towards finalizing the Power Sector Development Plan," says Randle Rimua, Secretary, Department of Petroleum and Energy, with PNG Government. "The workshop will be an opportunity to discuss all the key elements of the Plan to increase supply of reliable and sustainable power at reasonable cost."

The Plan is expected to include economic analysis, environmental and social safeguards due diligence of the main subprojects-including access roads, adaptation to climate change will be incorporated into the project design. Public consultations and an awareness campaign will also be a key part of the Plan.

"The Power Sector Development Plan aims to deliver more reliable, low cost power services to both urban and rural areas of PNG," says Anthony Maxwell, ADB Energy Specialist. "At present, more than 90% of the country's population is without electricity."

The draft Plan was discussed in detail and attendees were asked to comment on the Plan, during the one day workshop. The management of PNG's abundant renewable energy resources - including hydropower, geothermal, wind, and solar options - was also discussed.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in the Asia and Pacific region through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members-48 from the region.

Copyright @ 2009. ADB News Release.