Hydro Electric Schemes Bring Tap Water Supplies to Remote PNG Villages


The vast majority of PNG villages do not have tanks like this to service their village with running water on demand. Usually PNG villagers have to carry their water from the nearest river, which in some cases requires women to carry pitchers on their heads for hours. Often there are many villages upstream so their drinking water has had clothes or people washed in it, which is a health hazard. Because Hydro Electric water is passed through a settlement tank and piped from upstream, it is cleaner and pressurised and can be cheaply distributed right from the power house to the village under pressure. A chlorinator can be easily added to make the water safer to drink.

Eastern Highlands Governor Acknowledges the Difficulties IWP Faced to Complete Her Project

Eastern Highlands Governor Julie Akeke-Soso, acknowledges the political, administrative, cultural and logistical challenges associated with constructing projects in remote areas of PNG and compliments IWP on their perseverance in overcoming those challenges.

PNG Prime Minister Launches an IWP Project in Remote Highlands Valley


Left to Right: Mr Scott Paterson, IWP Director of Project Engineering; the Honourable Peter O’Neill, PNG Prime Minister (having been honoured at the opening ceremony with the local chief’s head dress); Mr Tim Ashton, IWP Director of Marketing; the Honourable James Marape, PNG Finance Minister.

The photo was taken following the opening of the Marawaka Hydro Electric Project on the 13th of June 2014. The link is a 25 second movie of the PM opening the project.

IWP Projects Use Local Labour in Lieu of Vehicles and Machines

Many PNG villages are more than a day’s walk from a usable road. Consequently, materials must be flown in and carried from the airfield, often up a mountain, to the various construction sites. Generators, cement, gravel, sand, water, rocks, timber, concrete reinforcement mesh, roofing iron and pipes must all be carried everywhere by men.


All trenches and foundations have to be dug by hand with spades, picks and shovels, while concrete has to be mixed and poured by hand.


IWP Trains Local People


IWP Projects Financially Assist Local Growers

In remote areas that don’t have road access, it can cost upwards of 90% of a grower’s income to air freight their coffee to the nearest buyer. By sharing the cost of air charters with IWP, growers were able to halve their usual cost of air freight. An example of this was when IWP flew in 60,000 kgs of materials and equipment for a hydro project. This enabled growers to backload 60,000 kgs of coffee to their usual markets.

Joint ventures like these inspired IWP with the idea of using hydro electricity to power value-added coffee processing plants in remote regions that could increase the growers’ income by 1000%.


Marawaka Projects

The Marawaka project was commissioned by the PNG Prime Minister on the 13th of June, 2014. The project comprises a weir, a settling tank, 1400m of 280mm poly pipe, a power house with 100kW turbine and generator, 1200m of 3 phase high voltage (11,000 volts) power lines and 2000m of low voltage (240 volt) distribution power lines. Also, all the houses in the village had to be wired with lights and power points.

60,000 kgs of material and equipment had to be flown in for the project and carried by the local men from the airfield up the mountain to the various project sites. Twenty cubic metres of concrete had to mixed and poured by hand and 1400m of trenches dug manually with picks, spades and shovels.

When the power was turned on, the cheer that went up from the village and the excitement and celebrations created a very emotional and rewarding experience for the IWP project manager.