Payment system glitch causes widespread power outage in Papua New Guinea

Payment system glitch causes widespread power outage in Papua New Guinea

Payment system glitch causes widespread power outage in Papua New Guinea

Updated 13 September 2017, 18:00 AEST

Tens of thousands of Papua New Guineans are left without electricity for days because of an electronic payment system problem.

Tens of thousands of Papua New Guineans have been without electricity for the past two days because of an electronic payment system glitch.

PNG Power's pre-paid Easipay system failed on September 11, leaving customers unable to top-up their accounts.

The company promised to have the system restored by midnight on the September 12, but failed to do so.

Those customers with limited credit spent the time without power to their homes.

Yolandrea English said the outage spoiled the food in her family's freezer.

"Our cleaner here is trying to throw out all our meat, because [the electricity has] been out like that for two days now," she said.

The pre-paid power is usually purchased on mobile phones or from shops.

Ms English and her one-year-old daughter Rubie spent the time outside on their verandah trying to keep cool, as their fans and air-conditioning system could not be used.

"I can't cope up with the fact that PNG Power doesn't have a back up system in play," she said.

"Its just unrealistic."

Ms English's brother Patrick was angry that PNG Power, which is a government-owned utility, could not fix the problem.

"Services from the Government is very poor, they need to step up, pull their socks up, do something about it," he said.

"We actually pay tax, I am very frustrated and pissed off that we update our tax and they don't do their jobs."

In a statement released today, PNG Power said the system had been fixed, but that customers would need to buy vouchers from its offices.

It promised to progressively restore the other parts of the service.