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Developer issues tender for Ayeyarwady LNG power plant

The Myanmar-Chinese developers of a major liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plant for Ayeyarwady Region have issued a tender with a one-week deadline for companies to enter the prequalification stage.

The proposed 1390MW LNG power plant is to be built in Shwethaungyan township’s Mee Lin Gyaing area, a greenfield site about 250 kilometres from Yangon. The scheme will include a 500kV transmission line to Hlaing Tharyar, on the outskirts of the commercial capital, but the first phase will only require a line to Pathein, where it will link up with the national grid.

If approved, it will be among the largest energy investments costing about US$2.5 billion, according to state media. The tender notice was issued by the state newspaper on May 22, with a deadline of May 28.

The developer is Mee Lin Gyaing Electric Power, a consortium of Myanmar’s Supreme Trading Co and three Chinese firms: Yunnan Provincial Energy Investment Group, Union Resources and Engineering Co, and Zhefu Holding Group.

The government and the developers have not inked a power purchase agreement (PPA) but are now looking for a contractor, which could signal that the PPA negotiations are making progress. The Myanmar Times has contacted Union Resources and Engineering Co for comments.

The Ministry of Electricity and Energy signed a letter of intent with the four companies in January 2020 to accelerate the project as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Myanmar.

The consortium received a “notice to proceed” from the ministry in January 2018 to start conducting the feasibility study and project plans. It is one of the three high-profile LNG plants – totalling almost 3000MW – given notices to proceed, the other two are a plant in Ahlone proposed by Thai-listed firm TTCL and the Kanbauk project backed by French Total and Siemens of Germany in Tanintharyi’s Yebyu township.

The three LNG power plant proposals are meant to plug Myanmar’s widening electricity shortfall and end power cuts. Factory and business closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic have reduced demand but Yangon is still experiencing power cuts.

Speaking at a solar plant’s opening in Manaung, Rakhine State, last December, State Counsellor Daw Aung Suu Kyi said her government was working to meet that rising demand through “mixed-electricity generation methods” and “creating a strong power grid.”

Myanmar’s electricity consumption is increasing by 15-19 percent per year, Daw Suu said.

U Htu Htu Aung, deputy CEO of Supreme Trading, told this newspaper in January that the firm hoped to sign the PPA on the Mee Lin Gyaing project before June, and that construction would commence in July.

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Source : Myanmar Times

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