$8 Billion Frieda River Project Finds New Flow

$8 Billion Frieda River Project Finds New Flow

The long-awaited Frieda River project is shifting focus to an integrated four-project hydro, road, power and mining development, according to PanAust’s presentation this morning held in Brisbane.

The session presented by Scott Cowie, General Manager ? Technical Services revealed interesting new insights about the project’s focus and future. Our Director Kristine Berry, Regional Manager – PNG & Asia Pacific Fraser Hawkins and Principal Consultant – Learning & Development Jean Kilner share their take on the upcoming project: 

PanAust’s Sepik Development Project mega-project estimated to be worth US $8 billion (K26.5 billion), has pivoted its focus to becoming an integrated development encompassing a roads, port, hydro power and dam infrastructure project in addition to the copper-gold mine.

The integrated development was announced last year, and if it goes ahead ? it will shape up to be a larger project than Wafi Golpu.Once completed, the new integrated development aims to create a new economic corridor within the West Sepik (Sandaun) and East Sepik provinces, supporting up to 5,000 people during its construction phase.

In terms of timelines, this ambitious project still looks to be far in the future considering its challenges in the road ahead.  The dam and associated hydro power project boasting a 600MW power station to power the Sepik region would prove to be a challenging venture, requiring a record amount of land to be acquired for a dam project and extensive work with communities in terms of relocation.

The dam alone is estimated to have a backwash radius of around 150 square kilometres. With the project’s new scope, an integrated road network would be used for freight as opposed to river transport, bringing another layer of complexity to a major project.

Cowie highlighted the organisation’s focus on community engagement, liaison and partnership moving forward ? finding ways to collaborate with the local communities, river communities and two provinces on mutually beneficial partnerships.

In a time where multiple resource projects are vying for attention and investment, the next steps for the Sepik Development Project look uncertain, or at the very least ? way off into the future.

We look forward to seeing how the project progresses and the opportunities for local community involvement ? it could be just another way to carve out PNG’s status as a player of the world resources stage.


What do you think?


For more Papua New Guinea industry news, head to www.peopleconnexion.com/png

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