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Group of individuals shaking hands on the new partnership

A solar mini grid will soon be lighting up classrooms, dormitories and teachers’ housing in Pimaga. Access to the electricity provided through this mini grid will transform the educational experience of young people and teachers at the Pimaga Vocational Education and Training (VET) centre.

“For the first time we will have access to power, to support our learning needs, provide a better environment for those students and teachers that live on campus and create a safer environment for everyone particularly women and girls”
- Mr. Warubi Manager of the Pimaga VET

The Santos Foundation and SLB (Schlumberger) have entered an exciting new partnership to support the Pimaga VET with a solar mini grid to power the centre. This PGK1.8 million investment is part of the Santos Foundation’s Youth Opportunities Program focussed on delivering greater outcomes for young people in Kutubu. “Education, training and employment opportunities are core to this program, and we are excited about our partnership with both SLB and the VET centre”, said the Senior Projects Manager, Anthony Uechtritz.

The new investment will mean the students will now have the opportunity to use modern equipment as part of their trade training “to gain hands- on experience and training they would not be able to get otherwise. It means they will be job ready in a competitive market” adds Matt Loth of SLB.

Energy poverty is a critical development issue and finding a renewable energy solution for a remote setting is life changing. It will mean better opportunities previously impossible in this community.

The Asian Development Bank Energy Sector summary states that PNG has one of the lowest electrification rates in the Pacific, with only 13% of the population having access to electricity. Lack of access to affordable and  reliable power, limits economic growth in urban areas, constrains growth in smaller urban centers and contributes to poverty in rural areas (Sector Assessment (Summary): Energy (

The Santos Foundation is proud to be partnering with SLB and the Pimaga VET centre on this project and believes the contribution will make a lasting impact on the local community that access the VET centre and look forward to seeing the benefits of this project in the years to come.