Developers push back on YESC power play

Dozens of construction firms sent a joint letter to the Yangon Region government challenging an August directive from the Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation to install transformers on new buildings that use more than 30 kilowatts of electricity.

The letter, dated September 28 and signed by 40 local developers, says that not all construction companies can afford to install transformers and the cost will inevitably be passed onto budding homeowners, according to co-signatory and developer U Lar Say.

“Installing a private transformer costs a lot of money, so it will eventually impact the customers who want to buy the apartment,” he said. “They will think it will be too expensive.”

On August 12, YESC announced that all developers applying for a Building Completion Certificate from Yangon City Development Committee would need to determine whether or not the building required the installation of a private transformer to provide additional power to the structure. The new rule is intended to cope with increased urbanisation, which is putting cost pressures on electricity supply, authorities said at the time.

But developers argue it is too strict. That 30KW of electricity would mean most new projects, around the eight story mark, would require this installation.

The new rule does not apply retrospectively to buildings that are in use. But for those that are under development, where apartments have been pre-sold, the unplanned additional cost has shaken margins, developers say.

Additionally, an influx of transformers, they argue, would be an eyesore for the city.

“In any street there would be many apartments with their private transformers cluttering the street,” U Lar Say said. “That would mean complex systems of cables and wires, which could be a dangerous fire hazard.”

The developers are calling for a return to the previous system, where a private transformer was only required on buildings using more than 180 kilowatts of electricity.

YESC spokesperson U Saw Win Maung said the electricity provider was sticking to its August 12 directive and it would be up to the board of directors to consider any private sector requests.

Daw Nilar Kyaw, Yangon Region minister for electricity, infrastructure and transportation, said that they would hold a meeting with the developers and YESC in the near future.

 

Source: The Myanmar Times

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