Lae power station
Lae power station is a proposed 52-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Morobe province, Papua New Guinea.
The map below shows the location where the plant would be built in Lae, Morobe province.
Background on Plant
Since 2014, Australian-based Mayur Resources has proposed the establishment of an "Enviro Energy Park" in the industrial hub of Lae, Morobe province, Papua New Guinea (PNG). In October 2018, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the project was signed between the company, the Lae City Authority, and the Morobe Provincial Government. The MOA detailed plans for a new 60 megawatt power station with the ability to burn coal as well as use biomass, solar energy, and by-product heat. Coal may come from PNG Gulf Province's Depot Creek. If the projects are built, they would mark the first coal-fired power plant and coal mine in the country.
In 2018, Mayur Resources said it had completed a feasibility study, selected a site, secured environmental approval, and received bids for the construction of the facility. However, a Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) still needed to be signed by national electricity provider PNG Power before energy could be sold to the country's grid.
In 2019, the plant was supported by Energy Minister Sam Basil and Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta, but still had to be approved by PNG Power Limited, which required competitive bidding of planned generation, transmission, and distribution investments.
In November 2019, the Mayur Resources website noted that construction bids had been received and the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) was submitted to PNG Power and under review. This was still the case in June 2021. For the site location, a lease had been taken out with PNG Ports at Lae Tidal Basin. The company's feasibility study was for 52.5 MW (net), and future scalability to a potential 200 MW was referenced.
Social and environmental concerns
The project has been criticized by environmental groups over its environmental impacts and high costs. Mayur Resources dismissed the concerns and said it hoped to gain approval for the project in 2021.
According to the Nogat Coal campaign, a collaboration including the Center for Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCOR) and Jubilee Australia Research Centre, the Western Tidal Basin is the Labu people’s home, who occupy six villages in the area. The closest village to the site, Labu Butu, is around 500 m from the proposed power plant. Labu Butu has a population of approximately 3,000 people, made up of 325 family groups. The campaign's concerns regarding the proposed coal plant include the following:
- There has been no proper consultation with the local communities
- Increased pollution and poor impact on public health
- Enforces the false claim that coal can be the solution
In September 2020, a detailed Nogat Coal report deconstructed the arguments for a 52 to 200 MW plant and coal mines in the Gulf Province and proposed alternatives.
- Sponsor: Mayur Resources
- Parent company:
- Location: Lae, Morobe province, Papua New Guinea
- Coordinates: -6.730778, 146.970678 (exact)
- Status: Permitted
- Capacity: 52.5 MW
- Start date:
- Coal Type:
- Coal Source: Gulf Province's Depot Creek, PNG
- Source of financing:
- Permits and applications:
Articles and resources
- "Location of proposed Lae EEP at Lae Tidal Basin" (jpg), Mayur Resources, accessed June 24, 2021
- "The Australian company pushing to open Papua New Guinea's first coal-fired power plant," ABC Australia, October 18, 2018
- "Duma backs Mayur proposal and asks PNG Power to consider coal project," The National, April 2, 2019
- "Enviro Energy Park," Mayur Resources, accessed November 2019 and June 2021
- "Despite criticism Aust coal-miner confident of PNG go-ahead," RNZ, September 28, 2020
- "The Coal Industry in Papua New Guinea," Nogat Coal: No coal in PNG, accessed June 24, 2021
- "The Coal Agenda: Mayur Resources and the push to start a coal industry in PNG," CELCOR and the Jubilee Australia Research Centre, September 2020