Myanmar solar tender not all about cheap pricing

MADAM – I follow The Myanmar Times’ excellent and extensive coverage of the solar tender with enormous interest. Reporting by John Liu – via his latest scoop on the tender results – and other journalists at your paper captures the controversy surrounding what could have been the defining solar power initiative in Myanmar.

Alas, the bidding conditions – including the barriers facing local firms and most foreign companies – leave a lot to be desired.

Myanmar’s renewable energy transition ought to allow local companies to have a fair share of the opportunities. Domestic firms, especially the small and mediumsized enterprises, are not given the chance to take part in this solar tender.

Furthermore, the government should roll out policies that encourage local developers to be sub-contractors in energy projects. They should also standardise renewable energy products in the country before approving any major project proposals.

John’s September 9 story reported that the average winning price to be US$0.0422 per unit, considerably below industry expectations. A reader responded and said this represents a great deal for Myanmar consumers.

Competitive pricing is surely welcome, for now. But is it wise for Myanmar to rely on companies from one particular country all the time? Beyond pricing, the authorities should recognise the importance of developing the capacity of local industry players and the growth of small businesses.

Myanmar can do better than this. We need a comprehensive industry strategy that is clearly and transparently communicated and consulted with the private sector and other stakeholders.

“To see the original article click link here”

Source : Myanmar Times

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