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Magwe gas plant starts running, VPower says

The gas plant intended to help plug Myanmar’s electricity shortfall this summer has started operating after almost a two-month delay, according to its
developer.VPower Group’s 23-megawatt gas plant in Kyun Chaung of Magwe Region began commercial operations on June 3 after a power purchase agreement was signed
between the firm and the Ministry of Electricity and Energy’s Electric Power Generation Enterprise, VPower said in a statement.
No details of the agreement have been disclosed. The energy ministry could not be reached for comment and has not responded to previous requests to comment from this newspaper.

The gas plant produces “much-needed power” to nearby regions and is connected to the national grid via the Kyun Chaung substation, it added.
“It forms part of the government’s short list of critical power projects to alleviate the peaking power demand of summer 2020,” said Earnest Cheung, VPower chief
commercial officer.
The original implementation deadline was April 6 this year. VPower attributed the delay in the projects to disruptions to the supply of construction materials owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ministry and the companies have not disclosed whether the penalty for the delay in implementation has been included in the deal.
According to the ministry’s deputy permanent secretary U Soe Myint, the government would pay around US$0.12 per kilowatt-hour for the electricity produced.
The gas plant is one of the five emergency power projects tendered by the energy ministry in 2019. VPower, a Hong Kong-listed company backed by Chinese CITIC, won
four bids. The other three projects it secured as a consortium with state-owned China National Technical Import & Export Corporation (CNTIC) use liquefied natural gas(LNG).

VPower signed a PPA for the 400MW LNG plant in Yangon’s Thaketa on June 10. The plant began partial operation on June 14.
The company said it also inked PPAs for another two LNG plants in Yangon’s Thanlyin and Rakhine’s Kyaukphyu, totalling 580MW. It said the two projects commenced
operation on June 30.In an interview printed by the state paper in April, deputy energy minister U Khin Maung Win said the ministry is “planning in advance for the coming summer.”The ministry has seven projects to produce electricity through natural gas and LNG, totalling 1166MW, he said. These projects are located in Kyun Chaung, Ahlon,Kyaukphyu, Thanlyin, Thaketa, Magwe and Shwe Taung.
The emergency tender was designed to rapidly scale up power generation capacity during this year’s hot season and is the government’s first major energy project in four years.

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