Danish Turbine-maker in Wind Farm Plan for Mon State

Burma could soon add more renewable power to its energy mix, as the world’s largest producer of wind turbines signed an agreement with a local company to explore a wind farm project in Mon State.

Myriad plans for new power generation are being touted as Burma looks to meet rising demand for energy, with domestic industries expanding and electricity consumption increasing among the general population.

Some new gas-fired power plants have already come online, and more are in the works, taking advantage of the country’s supply of natural gas from offshore fields. Other plans for hydroelectric dams and coal-fired power plants have garnered considerable resistance from local activists and environmental campaigners, however.

According to a statement from the Danish Embassy in Rangoon on Monday, new renewable energy could be coming to Mon State in the form of wind turbines. The statement said that Danish wind company Vestas signed an agreement with local firm Zeya & Associates on June 11.

“The partnership will initially focus on the development of wind energy in the south eastern region of Myanmar’s Mon State and will establish the foundation for a long-term cooperation between the two partners,” it said.

Few details were given about the project, and Vestas—which Bloomberg has called the largest wind turbine producer in the world—provides turbines for both offshore and onshore wind power projects.

“The country is facing the challenge of a rapidly increasing power demand and wind energy can provide a sustainable solution to energy security and at the same time a sound business case for investors,” the statement added in a quote attributed to Vestas head of marketing for the Asia-Pacific and China.

The project’s local partner, Zeya & Associates, is headed by Zeya Thura Mon, a Burmese businessman who is the local distributor for Thailand’s Gunkul Engineering—which has also been linked to wind-power plans in Burma. Zeya Thura Mon’s firm has branched out into importing consumer electronics and medical devices, and operates the Hlawga Power Plant, providing electricity to Rangoon.

According to UK-based consultancy the Oxford Business Group, the Burmese government is actively promoting wind energy, and has been seeking investment to develop the sector. However, current energy generation from wind is small, according to the group’s The Report: Myanmar 2015.

“Among the small wind farms currently in operation are a 1.2-kW wind turbine in Kyauske Township, a 1.2-kW plant at the Government Technical High School in the Ayeyarwaddy region and a 3-kW wind turbine that belongs to the Ministry of Science and Technology,” the Oxford Business Group said.

“In late 2013 power producers from China and Thailand revealed that they were doing feasibility studies for generating windmill-generated electricity in nine locations across Myanmar. According to MOEP, Thailand’s Gunkul Engineering Public Company will generate 2930 MW in its plants while Three Gorges Corporation of China aims to have a capacity of 1102 MW. The farms are expected to be operational in 2015 and will reach their maximum capacity by 2018.”

Source: The Irrawaddy

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