Yangon factories may be forced to shut if power cuts continue

Many factories will be forced to shut down if major power cuts in Yangon’s industrial zones continue, said officials from the Hlaingthaya Industrial Zone Committee.

Myat Thin Aung, the chairman of Hlaingthaya Industrial Zone Committee said, “The problem has occurred every year since 2000, but it has gotten worse—electricity can be cut off for 24-hours a day.”

He told Mizzima that some industrialists may close down their factories. Some factory owners are relying on their own diesel generators to produce power at a very high cost, increasing production costs across the board, according to Myat Thin Aung.

Power cuts occur especially in the dry season—which lasts from November to late May—in Myanmar. This year’s chronic power cuts became more serious in May in the industrial zones.

Myanmar’s Electricity Supply Board said that it would halt power supplies to the industrial zones starting from May 6 due to drought. Word has spread that this cut could last for three months.

Some industrialists are preparing together to talk to the Ministry of Electrical Power about these difficulties, said Ba Tint Swe, the owner of a glass factory in Shwepyitha Industrial Zone 1.

An owner of a freezing factory said on condition of anonymity, “If I can afford to run my diesel generator, which consumes 16 gallons of diesel every hour, for the whole day, then I’ll run my factory for the whole day. If I cannot afford it, the factory operating time needs to be reduced and consequently my workers will suffer.”

Meanwhile, a top official at the Electricity Supply Board told Mizzima, “We will continue providing electricity supplies to ordinary citizens, but we will halt the supplies to industrial zones for a short period until we can generate more electricity. We will try to solve the problem as soon as possible. The rumor saying the power shortages will last for three month is completely false.”

Source: Mizzima

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