MOEE to Provide 3,600 MW of Additional Power in Four Years

The Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE) has pledged to provide an additional 3,600 megawatts of electricity within the next four years, Deputy Minister Dr. Tun Naing said in Parliament Monday.

The announcement comes after an MOEE study revealed that electricity consumption in Myanmar is expected to reach 5,774MW by 2021-22 from 3,189MW in 2017-18. Between 2010 and 2017, demand for electricity rose by 16 percent on average per year, the study also showed.

To achieve that target, power from some 500 new transmission lines and substations across the country will be tapped. These include power generated by several projects targeted to be completed in 2018-19, such as the 4 MW Yarzagyo hydro power plant, 40 MW Minbu solar power plant, 118.9 MW Thaton gas power plant, 106 MW Thaketa gas power plant and 225 MW Myingyan gas power plant.

Another ten power projects will be completed at various stages during the period from 2019-20 to 2021-22 to generate an additional 3,117 MW of power. Those projects comprise gas and hydro power plants in Kengtawng, Upper Yeywa, Kyaukphyu, Kanbauk, Ywama, Patolon, Myanaung, Thilawa and Mee Luang Chiang.

For continuous, non-disruptive and adequate electricity supply, the MOEE has also been upgrading existing 20-year old plants to ensure they are operating under full capacity in addition to implementing new power projects over the next four years, Dr Tun Naing said.

Over the longer term, Myanmar is aiming to have power available nationwide by 2030 under its National Electrification Plan.

To achieve that target, it will also begin purchasing power from its neighbours. Last week, local media reported the MOEE would sign an MoU to procure electricity from Laos. Assistant secretariat U Min Min Oo told Eleven Media an agreement had been in principle and that the two countries would meet soon to iron out the details before signing. Myanmar is currently also holding discussions to purchase power from China and India and conducting studies on potential cross border issues, contract terms and power transfer techniques.

The country must consider buying power from its neighbours as local objections to electricity generated by coal and large-scale hydro power plants has been rife. Meanwhile, power generated by small-scale hydro and solar projects is insufficient to meet the needs of the country. And while Myanmar produces natural gas, power generated by gas is a long term process and also required heavy investments in processing infrastructure.

“We are currently in discussions and negotiations over the price at which we can purchase power from our neighbours.  If the price is acceptable, we will buy from foreign countries and distribute domestically, U Min Min Oo told Eleven Media.

He also said priority would be given to ongoing hydropower and other renewable energy projects in the country over the next few years and that Myanmar is actively “hunting for power” to meet growing demand.

In Myanmar, electricity prices are heavily subsidised. The government is estimated to have accumulated more than $300 million in losses resulting from selling electricity at a loss to consumers.

 

Source: Myanmar Times

 

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