Mitsui buys into Thaketa plant with MAXpower deal

Mitsui, the largest Japanese investor in Myanmar, has purchased 44 percent of Myanmar Power Pte Limited from Singapore-registered MAXpower Group for an undisclosed sum.

Myanmar Power runs the Thaketa gas-fired project near Yangon, which has been operational since August 2013 partly to provide electricity to Thilawa Special Economic Zone.

“Sealing a new strategic partnership with Mitsui will enable us to fast-forward the development of our project pipeline in Myanmar and beyond,” said Arno Hendriks, chief executive officer of MAXpower Group.

The companies signed a share subscription agreement last week focused on the delivery of power in Myanmar as well as Indonesia. Myanmar Power valued its costs to date at the 35-megawatt Thaketa plant at about US$35 million, a press release said.

When the Thaketa deal was originally inked in February 2014, it was the first long-term Power Purchasing Agreement signed between state-owned Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise and a truly foreign entity.

In a press release at the time, Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise managing director U Htain Lwin said of the agreement, “We see it as a blueprint for other initiatives to develop the electricity sector across Myanmar.”

Myanmar Power Pte Limited officials declined to comment on the feed-in tariff it receives under the agreement, though other privately run gas-fired projects said they are receiving 3.4 US cents a kilowatt hour.

The Thaketa gas-fired power plant is partially to feed into the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, which is supported by a Japanese loan.

MAXpower is part of Southeast Asia focused Navigat, while Mitsui is one of Japan’s largest corporate groups.

MAXpower also participated in the tender for a gas-fired power plant at Kyaukphyu SEZ, facing competition from the UK’s Aggreko and Hong Kong-based V Power. V Power ultimately won the tender with a bid of 2.6 US cents a kilowatt hour, the lowest among bidders.

Mitsui intends to pursue other business opportunities in Myanmar, which is a priority country for the company, the statement said.

It has also worked with Myanmar Agri-business Public Company (MAPCO) on projects. MAPCO is one of the country’s largest agriculture companies, and has announced plans to list on the Yangon Stock Exchange in 2015.


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