Ministry Drafts Long-term Plan to Tackle Energy Crisis

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Ministry of Energy (MoE) are said to be in the process of drafting and implementing a long-term energy master plan, according to U Myint Zaw, deputy minister for energy.

According to statistics released by the MoE, Myanmar produced only 42 percent of gasoline and 11 percent of the diesel consumed in the 2013-14 fiscal year. This shortfall was reportedly met with imports of 97 million gallons of gasoline and 330 million gallons of diesel.

The government, in cooperation with the ADB, is currently preparing long-term plans for the coordination and conservation of energy resources.

This involves plans for storage to ensure fuel availability in the future and plans for the operation and extraction of oil and gas from onshore and offshore fields.

To ensure this, the MoE opened 16 onshore oil and gas fields, in Central Myanmar and Ayeyarwaddy region, to 12 international companies to reduce reliance on imports.

A tender process for an additional 18 oil and gas fields in the same area has been underway, since 2010, with deals to operate 16 of the fields – in cooperation with 10 international businesses –underway.

The tender process for onshore and offshore zones has seen announcements since 2010, with the latest announcement made last month.

Preparation for oil and gas extraction in an additional 19 offshore fields in Rakhine state and Tanintharyi region, in cooperation with eight international businesses, is also being carried out.

Tenders are also underway for an additional 30 offshore fields, in the same area, preparation for 21 of which is underway.

The ministry has said it is focused on using natural gas extracted from these fields to boost energy production. They have also indicated they will attempt to source power from several renewable sources, including solar, wind, hydro and biomass generation.

Myanmar’s daily extraction of crude oil currently falls short of required diesel and gas use, requiring imports from Thailand and Singapore.

It has been suggested if this discrepancy is not addressed in the future, Myanmar’s trade deficit will further deteriorate.

Source: Myanmar BUSINESS TODAY

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