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U.S. Government Delivers on PNG Electrification Partnership Promise
January 20, 2021

U.S. Government Delivers on PNG Electrification Partnership Promise

U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands Erin McKee today launched the five-year, PGK 200 million (US $57 million) United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-PNG Electrification Partnership (PEP) that will provide electricity to at least 200,000 households in Papua New Guinea.


(From left) New Zealand High Commissioner Philip Taula, USAID Senior Development Advisor David Hatch, Ambassador Erin McKee, PNG State Enterprises Minister Sasindran Muthuvel, PNG Energy Minister William Onglo, and Australian High Commissioner John Philp.


The USAID PEP project will contribute to the broader PNG Electricity Partnership, along with the United States, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand, created during the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit in Port Moresby. Today, only about 13 percent of Papua New Guineans have reliable access to electricity and the partnership aims to increase that to 70 percent by 2030.

“Access to electricity is key to Papua New Guinea’s economic growth,” said Ambassador McKee. “Electricity lifts the living standards of communities in cities, towns and remote villages. It allows schools and hospitals to deliver essential services. It is also an essential precursor for the growth of the private sector and industry, including small and medium enterprises.”

Through the project, USAID will strengthen PNG Power Limited’s capacity to expand connections, reduce system and commercial losses, and increase its revenues, as well as develop at least ten viable off-grid electrification models in select remote communities.  The project will help develop policies and methodologies to promote efficient delivery of energy services.  USAID will also catalyze private investment for energy projects by helping develop a pipeline of bankable projects, providing transaction advisory support and collaborating with financial institutions on energy project opportunities.

“This contribution to the commitments we made at APEC represents our partnership in action,” said Ambassador McKee. “We are excited about this step forward, where together we will drive inclusive growth, development and empowerment to communities throughout Papua New Guinea.”

The U.S. and PNG share longstanding historical and commercial links, people-to-people ties, and

defense partnerships.  Through USAID, the U.S. government works with the PNG government, the private sector and civil society organizations to bolster their ability to lead the country’s journey to self-reliance.  USAID assistance focuses on strengthening disaster preparedness and environmental resilience, health, and democratic governance.