Ministry to cooperate with private companies to generate more power

The Ministry of Electric Power will team up with the private sector to address the problem of power shortages.

Myanmar is expected to consume about 1688 MW in the summer time. But the actual demand is about 2060 MW. Only about 30 per cent of the total households in the country has connected to the national power grid.

The announcement to step up cooperation with the private sector came from Union Minister Khin Maung Soe who told the 2nd National Power Development Workshop at Thingaha Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw on November 22.

“It is expected the power generation would be 1688 MW in the summer. Consumption power would be about 2060 MW. The required power would be 372 MW. To meet the required power with the help of gas engines, we will cooperate with private companies,” said the Union Minister.

The Gas Turbine Project is being built with the assistance of the World Bank in Thaton. Projects of renovating the power plant and sub-power station in Yangon were also being carried out by JICA. Although these projects are good for long run, the short term goal also required a great deal of work. The ministry will need 300 MW before 2015, methods should be sought and added to the drawing of current project, he said.

Power grid is lacking in Rakhine State, Shan State, Taninthayi Region, the northern part of Sagaing Region and the northern part of Kachin State. As these places supply power with the use of generators, one unit is about K 800 (nearly USD 1), said the Union Minister.

There are 4,862 villages consuming power from national grid in the country. There are 18,231 villages consuming power by way of small-scale hydroelectric power, diesel, paddy husk and bio fuel. Therefore, there are a total of 23,113 villages capable of consuming power across the country, accounting for 36 percent.

In the past, power sector was implemented through a 30-year strategic plan. Some projects were behind the schedule due to different reasons. Therefore, it is necessary to re-prepare for the plan, said the Union Minister.

In the past, Myanmar Power System Planning was drawn up with the help of China Three Gorges in 2011-2012. Electricity Master Plan is now being drafted with the assistance of JICA, said the Union Minister.

Khant Zaw, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development, said that the main challenges for rural power planning were funds and facilities. The rural power planning can’t be implemented by the government alone. So the government invited private companies to invest in power supply. Only if private companies do investment in generating and supplying power, will the rural areas be immediate accessible to power.

Source: ELEVEN Myanmar

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