By OMAE KOAKE
This new technology has never been used or exported anywhere else in the world since its invention and PNG is now the pioneering host of its trial and the eventual import for usage by the people.
The new product is the world’s first small hydro-power generation system called by the maker by the name ‘ Small Hydro Stream ‘ and is quite unique because the stream uses the movement of large mass of simple free flowing water current to spinning energy for power generation. It is manufactured by one of Japan’s rising technical actors, The Seabell International Cooperation Limited (SICL).
The biggest benefit of the system is that there is no need for dam construction because it is small machine( 2x2x2 m ) and conveniently portable where it can be moved from one location to another following water sources such as creeks, large drains, small streams and rivers where there is constant flow of water.
It can also be installed at sea to convert running water and waves into electricity that can generate approximately one to 10 kilowatts of power and can generate enough electricity to light up to 30 houses for over 20 year period.
The five kilowatts system is the world’s first invention of dual axis turbine, opposite rotation accelerating gear system form reducing friction loss with the mechanical parts always staying above water reducing risk-factors of durability and cost factors on manufacturing and maintenance. The technology is different from solar power, wind power or conventional type of head hydro power ( Yonki / Sirinumu type ) and only provides reliable new energy power generation by water current, a stable power for consistently 24hours in 365 days a year unless there is a mechanical need.
The advantage of the system is that the environment around the installation site will not be disturbed/harmed and the weather ( wind/sun ) has no effect on the operations because water is a renewable resource which is constantly available to generate electricity.
The presence of the technology in the country is the initiative of Education Minister, James Marape who searched the globe for the most reliable and affordable electrification for all educational institutions in the country.
In his hunt, he bumped into Dr. William Tongamp from Western Highlands province who is a post doctoral researcher with the faculty of engineering at the Akita University in Japan.
Dr. Tongamp then introduced Mr Marape to his close Japanese friend who happened to be, Nobuchika Ihara, the managing director for the Seabell International Cooperation Ltd, the manufacturer of the new hydro-power system.
From then on, collaborations among the three gentlemen started with Mr Marape representing the people of PNG with close assistance from Dr. Tongamp, our elite son.
After numerous negotiations, Dr. Tongamp brought Mr. Nobuchicka to his native village last year and the Japanese was stunned that his mother was still living in a grass thatched hut without complete electricity.
This particular visit to the one of the most remote parts of the world deeply moved the inventor of the world’s hydro-power who from then on made a solemn commitment to bring the hydro system to PNG first before the rest of the world.
In a press conference this week at the State Function Room in Parliament, Mr Nobuchicka Ihara presented the technology to politicians and representatives from the corporate, public and private sectors including the media.
Mr. Ihara told the conference in the presence of Mr Marape and Dr. Tongamp that his company plans to build a plant in PNG for creation of employment and also to supply smaller Pacific Island countries and neighbouring Asian region with electricity.
Mr Marape thanked Mr Ihara on behalf of the government and the people of Papua New Guinea for choosing our country for the trial of the first ever technology. He further stated that he went out looking for a technology that will meet our electricity needs and we have found one that is relevant, applicable and environmentally friendly that will compliment the Government’s rural electrification policy.
He said that as the Education Minister, he is excited about this new technology that can provide power 24hrs for our children to have access to library, internet and the world.
The Minister assured the country that PNG is about to see great changes in their livelihood through the tapping of the latest global technology. Otherwise, this piece of technology is believed to have large potential to become one of the major renewable energy sources on earth in the near future and Papua New Guineans should be proud because we will be the pioneering country on earth to use the technology.