Currently less than 15% of the population in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has access to electricity. The PNG Government aims to connect at least 70% of the population to electricity by 2030. As part of PNG Power Limited’s Fifteen Year Power Development Plan (2016- 2031), the project is also significant from an environmental viewpoint as it replaces diesel-generated power.

Located in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe province, the new hydropower plant involved the design and construction of several bespoke components including:

  • A low-height diversion weir connected to a 33m high concrete surge tank
  • A five km long, low pressure, headrace pipeline
  • Steel pipe penstocks
  • A power station containing two 5.6 MW Pelton turbines.


Site conditions prior to dam construction


SMEC was appointed by PNG Forest Products to provide the tender design, tender documentation and tendering. SMEC has had a key role in the project since its origins, having completed the pre-feasibility study in 2014, and feasibility study and environmental and social impact assessment in 2017. SMEC’s role on the Baime Hydropower project included:

  • Leading concept design and feasibility studies
  • Hydrological assessment and analysis including review of project optimization studies
  • Preparation of tender design and drawings for the civil works
  • Preparation of preliminary design and drawings for the electromechanical and hydromechanical plant and equipment
  • Preparation of tender documents with bill of quantities, schedules, and specifications
  • Construction cost estimation including operations and maintenance costs
  • Definition of contract packaging and preparation of project contract documents
  • Preparation of project construction schedule
  • Pre-qualification of Civil and Mechanical & Electrical contractors during the tendering
  • Managing tender documents and queries during the tendering process and Tender Evaluation

During construction, SMEC was appointed by the project financing agency, the Bank of South Pacific (BSP) as Independent Technical Expert (ITE).  The ITE services included periodic site visits, review of design changes during construction, construction quality review, health and safety reviews, and regular reporting to the lender (BSP).


The Baime Hydropower facility will increase power supply and reliability in the Morobe, Madang and Highlands provinces of PNG.  Connecting into the Ramu Network, the project will improve livelihoods for local communities whilst contributing to job creation, infrastructure development and economic growth.

PNG Forest Products will combine Baime’s capacity with the Upper Baiune power station, increasing the total capacity of the existing Ramu power grid to 26MW of power. With total installed capacity of 11.6 MW, the Baime plant will be able to produce 81 GWh of hydroelectric energy annually.


View all


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