23 Apr 2012

No environmental impact from PNG water project says minister

8:08 am on 23 April 2012

The Papua New Guinea government minister behind a multi-billion US dollar project to pipe water to Australia says it would also produce hydro electricity for that country.

Francis Awesa says the scheme involves a 2,500 kilometre, one metre diameter pipeline that would take water from the Southern Highlands to a dam just outside Brisbane.

He says the gravity-fed pipeline would complement another scheme to generate hydro-electricity by taking water from the Mendi, Lai, Nembi, Angula, Yalo and Tua rivers.

"All these rivers come from the second-highest mountain in Papua New Guinea, which is Mt Giluwe, which is 15,000 feet above sea level and in fact because of the height, the pressure is such that it might burst the pipe so to slow it down they would be required to build hydro stations."

Francis Awesa says each hydro station would be capable of generating up to 120 megawatts of power.