Burum Hydropower Project
The Finschhafen District Development Authority, AG Energy and SMEC spent 2021 exploring design options for a new hydropower generation facility. The project will leverage the county’s untapped hydropower potential and increase the supply of reliable, clean, and cost-effective power in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Global expertise


SMEC has compiled a world-class team of international experts who have collaborated across offices in PNG, Australia, Nepal and Kuala Lumpur. Together SMEC’s engineers undertook due diligence for civil, electrical, and mechanical services, as well as the topographic survey and all geological investigations. SMEC also delivered hydrological and sedimentation studies to determine capacity optimisation.


The project had to overcome several COVID-19 related hurdles during the site investigation works but by utilising locally based staff in Port Moresby, the team was able to conduct all the geotechnical site investigations required for the study.


Outcome and recommendations


The studies enabled SMEC to develop an optimum, financially viable layout option for the development. Salient features include a low height (~6m high) diversion weir, a 3.3km of headrace tunnel, a 34m high underground surge shaft, a 350m long surface penstock pipe, and a surface power station housing two units of Francis Turbines. Other infrastructure includes approx. 7km of new road and approx. 80km of the transmission line from the power station to Lae.


Once developed, it is anticipated that the project will generate 20MW of power, extending rural electrification and replacing diesel generation in the city of Lae and the surrounding region.


Talk to one of our specialists about our role on the Burum Hydropower Project.