We Got the Power!

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It’s been a long, long time coming, but it appears that Madang may enjoy some relief from the severe power shortages, at least for a while.

I won’t go into the long history of complaints, excuses, arguments, whining, whingeing, general apathy, and outright incompetence that have preceded this happy day.

The old generators in the power station are nearly unrepairable. Parts are scarce or non-existent. Here is one of the giant old beasts:

One of the old generators

Here Matthew Mesmin leads a mob of dignitaries and hangers-on to the switch panel for the new generators:

A mob of dignitaries

In this shot we have (left to right) Francis Irara, Director of Natural Resources; Bustin Joseph, Manager, PNG Power, Madang; Eunice Messersmith, Secretary/Treasurer, Madang Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Matthew Mesmin, Project Manager:

Lined up for the switch-on

After the obligatory ribbon cutting ceremony, in the absence of Stotick Kayma, the President of the Madang Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Eunice was chosen to switch on one of the generators for the ‘first time’:

Eunice praying that the genset will start when twists the knob

Honestly, it looks as if she’s praying, “O plis Papa God, mekim dispela genset i pairup sitrong tru.” (Oh, God, please let this thing start.) It did, to the relief of everyone present.

Phillip Lucas Peter Metzdorf, (Sorry, Peter. I got your name wrong in the first posting. See comments.) Project Engineer from Energy Power Systems in Australia is at the left in the yellow shirt. For a guy who has dealt with power problems and solutions for more than 28 years, he’s pretty well-balanced and humorous. He had some very amusing stories:

Signing off for the new gensets

And here are the stars of the show – three spanking-new CAT 16-cylinder gensets:

Our new triplets

Peter Metzdorf said that it was a lucky break that we got these babies. With the two forever-wars going on, gensets like these are nearly impossible to obtain. Somebody in Moresby who was awake at the moment noticed the triplet coming up for grabs and grabbed them. Good on ya, mate!

We’re not all the way out of the woods yet. It’s my understanding that PNG Power can now supply all of the power that Madang needs at the present time as long as they don’t need to send it to other centres and as long as big users (we all know who they are) are willing to pull their fuses and run on their own generators.

Anybody willing to face facts can understand that this is not the preferred solution. Though it is a big step in the right direction (and a minor miracle), it does not address the lack of capacity in other centres and it still leaves several major users being forced to pay more for their electricity because they have to go on gensets as soon as Yonki drops the load.

Hey, for now I’m willing to just be happy and stop complaining for a while.

Until the next blackout at my house in the middle of a shower.

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6 Responses to “We Got the Power!”

  1. Peter Metzdorf Says:

    Hi there, just a note to let you know that you have your “Tags” screwed up. The fellow in the yellow shirt is not Phillip Lucas, it’s me, Peter A. Metzdorf, Project Engineer, Energy Power Systems Australia. Phillip Lucas , Team Leader Generation is a rather “portly” national gentleman.

    I did spend twenty-odd years in PNG with PNG Elcom, arriving in 1961 and leaving in 1989.

    Yes, it breaks ones heart when one sees the lack of investmentment in training these days resulting in the demise of the Madang Power Station, This station was the best maintained / operating station in the country in the 1970’s – 1980’s.

    Lukim yu

    Peter A. Metzdorf

  2. MadDog Says:

    Peter, I’m very sorry about that. Eunice had a fellow writing down names. Then I tried to connect the names on the paper with the faces. I blew it. I’m going to fix it on the post right now.

    It was a pleasure meeting you. I’d like to sit around for an evening and listen to your stories.


  3. A Powerful Blast from the Past | Madang - Ples Bilong Mi Says:

    […] There’s still a long way to go, but it is good to see progress. […]

  4. sendhur Says:

    i like that

  5. KATI Says:

    With thanks!! Still yet another superb post, truly why we come to the internet site habitually.

  6. MadDog Says:

    Thanks Kati. I appreciate every comment that I get, especially those such as yours that tell me that there are people out there who enjoy reading my crazy stuff!