Gas-fired plants to cut power shortages

Three gas-fired power generation plants are moving closer to being built, as Ministry of Electric Power (MOEP) officials evaluate bids for the projects.

Although the government claims an installed capacity of 4362.5MW, difficulties with distribution and plants operating at less than capacity means Myanmar is often unable to meet peak demands of up to 2370MW.

Gas-fired plants including Kyaukphyu in Rakhine State, Thaton in Mon State and Thilawa in Yangon Region are all being built or rebuilt in an effort to chip away at the electricity deficit.

Myanma Electric Power Enterprise (MEPE) officials are now evaluating bids from five companies to build a gas-fired plant near Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone in Rakhine State, said MEPE managing director U Htain Lwin.

The winner could be announced by December, he said, adding the plant will be fuelled by natural gas obtained from the China-Myanmar Gas Pipeline.

Although state-owned enterprises are running some of the projects themselves, others are receiving outside support.

The World Bank is funding a refurbishment of a plant in Thaton township in Mon State through a US$140 million low-interest loan. The plant now generates about 40MW, but with the new generators could produce 106MW, officials have said.

The MOEP is also planning to build a 50MW gas-fired plant at Thilawa Special Economic Zone in Yangon Region. Financed by a Japanese loan, a total of three private companies are now being considered for the project, said U Htain Lwin.

“We are selecting companies for each project depending on their proposed electricity production capacity and price,” he said, adding that authorities are aiming for the plants to be online by 2015.

Experts have estimated that capacity will need to increase by 800 to 1000MW annually to meet demand. MOEP is drawing up an Electricity Master Plan with the help of the Japanese International Cooperate Agency to lay out the path to meet energy needs.


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