The second PNG Petroleum & Energy Summit will take place from 19 – 21 March 2018. Ahead of the Summit, Gurpreet Hayre, Vice President of Gas & LNG at CWC Group, interviews one of the key speakers of at the event – Richard Robinson, CEO, NiuPower. Mr Robinson speaks about power development in PNG and the future expansion of the power market.
Gurpreet Hayre: NuiPower is a newly created entity, can you tell us a little about the companies mandate and immediate priorities?
Richard Robinson: NiuPower is a company jointly owned by Kumul Petroleum and Oil Search that was established to focus on development of power generation in PNG using PNG produced gas as a fuel. Kumul Petroleum and Oil Search have been given a mandate by government to develop Port Moresby’s first gas-fired power station and NiuPower is the developer of that power station. We will also continue to explore other opportunities to develop gas-fired power stations in PNG into the future
Gurpreet Hayre: Having spent much of the past 30 years working in Papua New Guinea, what can you share about your experiences in PNG and are there any snippets of wisdom you could offer to potential new market entrants?
Richard Robinson: PNG is a challenging but rewarding place to do business but like everywhere in the world it is fundamentally important to understand the local environment to be successful. That means any and all aspects of the; physical, political, social and regulatory environment. And like anywhere, it can be frustrating at times, but the number of very successful local and international businesses operating here bear testament to the reality that you can do business if you are; competent, patient, persistent and resilient.
Gurpreet Hayre: Developing a self-sufficient power sector in PNG is something that has been sought after for many years, what do you think needs to be happen to enable in-country access to power for all?
Richard Robinson: Ultimately that is a question for government, but certainly maximising private sector investment in the very capital intensive assets essential for expansion of the power systems, particularly power stations, will be one of the key underpinnings to success. The government’s Electricity Industry Policy issued in 2011 recognised this and NiuPower’s current investment in the Port Moresby gas-fired power station is a clear manifestation of this policy initiative.
Gurpreet Hayre: You will be speaking at the 2nd PNG Petroleum & Energy Summit taking place in Port Moresby, what are your expectations of the Summit and what do you hope to learn from discussions?
Richard Robinson: I attended the first Summit in 2017 also and found it to be an excellent opportunity to get a full update on everything happening and planned in the petroleum and energy sectors in PNG. It was also a fantastic forum to mix with all the key players from across the industry and share ideas and information. I am confident that the 2018 Summit will be even bigger and better.
Richard Robinson will be speaking on day two of the Summit at 11am, during session 5: Driving Government Policies: Domestic Energy Markets and Opportunities.
About Robert Robinson, CEO , NiuPower
Richard Robinson has spent over 40 years in the energy industry, much of the past 30 of these in PNG. This includes project and operations management in the upstream, pipeline and petroleum refining sectors. He was responsible for all of Oil Search’s production and drilling operations in PNG from 2010 until 2013. Since then he has worked as a Non-Executive Director and consultant and has spent considerable time focused on developing a gas-fired power station to service Port Moresby. He is current CEO of NiuPower, the developer of Port Moresby’s first gas-fired power station.