First coal project in Yangon cancelled as MoU expires

The 279-megawatt-capacity coal-fired plant was to be developed in Htantabin township by Huaneng Lancang from China and Htoo Group of Companies from Myanmar.

“We have been officially informed by the companies that they cannot proceed with the project because of port problems,” said U Aye San, director general of the Department of Hydro Power Implementation. “So the project is cancelled with approval of cabinet.”

The memorandum of understanding underlying the project had been signed in January 2010.

“The nature of the MoU states it is to be cancelled after 30 months if the project can’t be implemented,” said U Aye San.

Coal power has proven contentious, with a number of demonstrations held and civil society groups working to prevent various projects.

The Htantabin township project is the first MoU to be cancelled of the 11 MoUs for coal-fired power projects signed by the Ministry of Electric Power. There are two more coal-fired projects planned for the Yangon area by a combination of local and foreign companies.

MoUs for coal-fired plants in Kungyangon township and Kyauktan township were signed in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Virtue Land, a subsidiary of Asia World, is to develop the Kungyangon project, while Orange Powergen from India, Global Adviser from Singapore and Diamond Palace Services from Myanmar are to invest in the Kyauktan project.

U Aye San said all of the planned projects are not yet being developed, and are still at the stage of feasibility study and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment. “We have told the companies to try for public acceptance,” he said.

However, two coal-fired projects have progressed somewhat, with memorandums of agreement being signed for a project in eastern Shan State and in Mon State.

The agreement for the Kengtung project in Shan State was signed in March.

Thai-based Lumpoondum will implement coal-fired power with a capacity of 660MW.

The agreement for the other project, a 1280MW project in Yay township of Mon State, was signed in April. Toyo-Thai Corporation is to implement the project.

Other coal projects are planned for Rakhine and Chin states as well as Ayeyarwady and Tanintharyi regions.

The government’s official energy plans call for an increase in coal, up to 33 percent of total capacity by 2030, though it now makes up only about 2pc capacity.

Source: Myanmar Times

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