General Electric and Myanma Electric Power Enterprise or MEPE have agreed to work together to repower and upgrade existing gas turbines in Myanmar, according to a press release issued by GE on November 13.
Following a proposal made during General Electric Chairman and CEO, Jeffrey Immelt’s recent visit to Myanmar, this new initiative will result in approximately 30 megawatts of additional power for Myanmar, according to the release.
This upgrade is needed to help the country continue on its rapid development path, and this upgraded equipment will result in a large increase in overall efficiency, delivering more power with the same amount of fuel, according to GE.
According to media reports, GE has not found it easy prising open access to a country they may well consider to be their “last frontier,” bar North Korea or Cuba. Dealing with stifling bureaucracy and entrenched local capitalists has been testing for the American multinational, according to Forbes magazine. Myanmar is desperately short of electrical power, particularly if it wishes to extend outreach to the 70 percent of the public who are not on the country’s power grid.
GE will work towards finalizing agreements to repower and upgrade the existing fleet of GE gas turbines in the country over about six months. Under the proposed agreement, GE would invest to facilitate this project together with MEPE.
Following the completion of the Myanmar Master Electricity Planning Study and training which GE initiated and has supported since last year, GE and MEPE have jointly agreed to conduct an assessment of power plants to identify possible upgrade opportunities with a view to increasing the power output, availability, reliability and heat rate. The repowering solutions will greatly enhance the power output of these gas turbines and deliver a significant reduction in the gas fuel consumption resulting in greater benefits for MEPE.
“This investment underscores GE’s commitment to partner with the government of Myanmar to help expand the much needed supply of reliable electric power in the country,” said Mr. Stuart Dean, CEO of GE ASEAN.
“GE had made a good effort in powering up of Myanmar in the past 19 months. I look forward to continuing to work with GE on these power plants repowering project to get Myanmar up and running with the electricity plan,” said U Htein Lwin, managing director of MEPE.
Installing the latest technology to upgrade existing units will greatly enhance their efficiency, and significantly reduce costs for operators, according to GE.