‘Pay-As-You-Go’ Power to Energize Rural Papua New Guinea

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Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, April 9, 2017—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced the launch of a pilot Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) project with Origin Energy PNG Ltd, to support renewable energy use in off-grid communities in Papua New Guinea, helping make clean distributed energy affordable and accessible.

Supported by the Pacific Partnership, an initiative of IFC and the Australian Government, the project was introduced to the Australian Prime Minister, The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull at an event in Port Moresby by Lesieli Taviri CEO of Origin Energy PNG Ltd.

The demonstration of a convenient, accessible payment option for locals to be able to cover their energy needs was witnessed by Mr Turnbull. Safe, affordable, and sustainable power will support sustained growth in PNG that benefits all, especially those working hard in rural areas to improve their livelihoods.

In a country where about 85 percent of the population has no access to the electricity grid, this brings a convenient and affordable way of accessing power.

“It is a user-friendly, innovative system that also allows customers to contribute over a number of months via mobile money payments,” said Lesieli Taviri, CEO of Origin Energy PNG Ltd. “This PAYG model allows customers to pay at their convenience and from almost anywhere, avoiding initial investment hurdles for customers who previously could not afford a high-quality solar home system.”

The Origin system can meet the essential requirements of an off-grid household. It can power anything from lighting to radios, televisions and refrigerators.

It also expands opportunities for local businesses. Its systems are powerful enough to run energy-based services such as a mobile-phone charging business, or to power a computer or refrigerate agricultural produce to reach onwards markets.

“The initiative is a good example of the role the private sector can play to catalyze the adoption of clean energy in the unserved and underserved markets of countries with difficult-to-reach markets,” said Hemant Mandal, IFC’s Regional Head for Energy Advisory. “This new PAYG pilot project will give local people access to a better quality yet affordable energy product.

The PAYG pricing model builds on the work of Lighting PNG that brought solar power to more than a million people in PNG not connected to the grid. IFC has been using the experience gained from its lighting projects in different geographies to help energy companies across the value chain to bring innovative solutions available to those served with minimal power supply.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

About Origin Energy
Origin Energy PNG is a joint venture between Origin Energy Holdings and Melanesian Trustees Services Limited. The Origin Energy Group has a rich heritage in energy exploration, production, power generation and retailing. Headquartered in Australia, the company has presence in New Zealand, US, the Pacific Islands and parts of South-East Asia. In PNG, it is one of the trusted global brands in the LPG business and has been operating for more than 50 years and continues to grow and expand its footprint in the energy sector, including solar and renewables.

About Pacific Partnership
IFC’s work in the Pacific is guided by the Pacific Partnership. Australia, New Zealand and IFC are working together through the Pacific Partnership to stimulate private sector investment and reduce poverty in the Pacific.

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