PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is supporting Papua New Guinea’s efforts to provide access to electricity for all, and to develop renewable energy resources, a new ADB energy report said.

“ADB is helping to connect unserved households to reliable, good quality electricity supplies for the first time,” said Marcelo Minc, Country Director of ADB’s Papua New Guinea Resident Mission. “Improved power supplies enhance peoples’ quality of life and encourage low-income families to engage in income generating activities.”

The report Pacific Energy Update 2015 is a country-by-country summary of energy projects and technical assistance, which Pacific governments have chosen for ADB assistance.

The report said ADB has long-standing involvement in the PNG energy sector through technical assistance and loans for hydropower and transmission projects. ADB’s assistance is improving the use of hydropower by upgrading and rehabilitating two hydropower plants, which currently provide electricity for Port Moresby. This should reduce fossil fuel consumption, while increasing household and business access to the Port Moresby power grid.

Electricity supply is so unreliable in PNG that those who are connected to the grid still rely heavily on back-up fuel-operated generator sets.

PNG joined ADB in 1971 and is now ADB’s largest Pacific region borrower of loans for public and private sector development, while ADB is now PNG’s second-largest development partner. ADB’s active portfolio in the country currently totals $1.1 billion, including 22 ongoing loans for 11 projects; 8 grants; 9 technical assistance projects, and 2 private sector loan and equity operations.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members–48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including cofinancing of $9.2 billion.

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