Myanmar to solicit bids for its 1st LNG terminal

An international tender to build Myanmar’s first liquefied natural gas terminal will start as early as April, presenting a business opportunity for Asian trading and energy companies, according to a government source.

Along with a floating LNG terminal with an annual capacity of 3 million to 4 million tons, the $2-billion project includes construction of 200km of pipeline to bring the gas to urban areas and 1-gigawatt gas-fired power plant.

The project is designed to meet growing electricity demand in the country. It will be led by the country’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy.

Although the site for the terminal has yet to be determined, one prime candidate is a coastal area in the eastern state of Mon, near Yangon. The power plant may be located near the terminal, or somewhere near Yangon.

The government will select the winning bid by the end of the year, with the terminal to go online in 2020 at the earliest.

Since last autumn, the Myanmar government has been calling on domestic and international companies to take part in the project. Several dozen, including Japanese trading houses and Thai and European oil companies have expressed interest, the source said.

Electricity consumption in Myanmar is forecast to triple by 2020 from 2012 to about 23 terawatts, driven by economic growth, which took off after the transition to a civilian government in 2011. At present, 60-70% of the country’s power plants are hydroelectric, which means their output varies with the season. The government is scrambling to build more power plants to ensure a stable supply of electricity.

Thailand’s biggest construction company, Italian-Thai Development, Thai energy company PTT and Anglo-Dutch oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell are planning LNG terminal projects in the southeastern city of Dawei and other areas.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review

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