Pilikambi Hydropower Project
It is estimated that only 12% of the 7 million residents of Papua New Guinea (PNG) has access to electricity; in rural areas, the estimated proportion is less than 4%.

Enga Hydro Power Limited (EHPL) is a public-private partnership (PPP), including private investors and the Enga Provincial Government of PNG, to develop a hydropower project on the Lagaip River.


Following our successful completion of the pre-feasibility study in July 2019, SMEC was again engaged in January 2020 to deliver the feasibility study for the proposed Pilikambi Hydropower Project. The feasibility study was completed on schedule in October 2020, despite the challenges of the global pandemic, with results showing the project was financially robust and could move into implementation phase.


SMEC drew on its network of global expertise, bringing together a team of specialists across multiple disciplines, who were variously located in PNG, Australia, the UK, Switzerland, Nepal and Malaysia. Although all interactions were limited to virtual collaboration, team members worked effectively to address challenges and meet project deadlines.



Our role involved a range of activities including the review and update of the 2019 pre-feasibility study; feasibility level geotechnical investigations, hydrological assessment and sediment analysis and water quality analysis. We also completed project optimisation studies, basic design of civil work structures, preliminary design studies for the power generating equipment and substation, initial design of power evacuation transmission lines, project cost estimation, energy generation estimation and financial evaluation.


The Pilikambi Hydropower project harnesses the energy potential from a perennial river. The feasibility study demonstrated the financial and technical viability of the project which is now poised to move to implementation. Once operational, the scheme will extend rural electrification in the Enga Province by replacing diesel generation with sustainable, renewable energy.



SMEC was subsequently appointed again by our client in December 2020 for the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment study, as a variation to the feasibility study.


Our strong partnership with our client underpins the achievement of this important milestone and has led to SMEC collaborating on other hydropower projects in PNG.