Tonga PM: Geothermal potential in PNG huge

Papua New Guinea has a significant hydroelectric and geothermal potential, a leader in the Pacific region.

Tonga’s Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva has noted in his recent brief that PNG plans to build or upgrade 800MW of hydro-electricity and more than 500MW of geothermal generating capacity within the next 10-15 years to provide a reliable and affordable electricity supply.

He said his Government has suggested that both Papua New Guinea and Tonga can establish an understanding in working towards building and encouraging the use of geothermal source of energy in the Pacific.

“In the Pacific region Papua New Guinea and Australia are seeing their geothermal industries expand rapidly while recently Tonga and the World Bank is developing a 10-year roadmap to shift its energy supply to renewable, with geothermal one of the likely options,” he said.

Pohiva said the roadmap is under the implementation phase and World Bank has approved a project that will provide the country with resources supporting the increased absorption of sustainable energy.

“Given such future cooperation for both countries will thereby be determined by the events which unfold in the preliminary years leading up to the 2019 Pacific Games to be hosted by Tonga.

“The outcome of the undersea mining exploration west of Tonga by Nautilus Inc, Papua New Guinea’s desire to invest in the tourism sector in Tonga, and Tonga’s desire to pursue PNG’s offer of tertiary education for its citizens will further deepen bilateral relations in future,” he said