Power leakage consumes 30 per cent of investment

Myanmar’s antiquated electricity distribution system is causing a loss of 30 per cent for every dollar invested in generation, Singapore-based consultancy New Crossroads Asia said, citing estimates previously made by the International Financial Corporation.

Almost one-quarter, 23 per cent, of electricity generated is wasted due to leakages along the entire distribution system as well as the use of outdated appliances.

A lack of skilled technicians is compounding the problem, reports say.

Myanmar is among the countries with the lowest access to electricity in the world, according to the World Bank, which says only about 33 per cent of the population has access to electricity.

The government aims to expand the national grid to cover 50 per cent of the population by 2020, while at the same time it is upgrading the existing distribution system with assistance from the Asian Development Bank, World Bank and other development partners.

Myanmar has massive coal and gas reserves, but only a fraction of them has been tapped, analysts say.
The Yangon Electricity Supply Board is planning to transform itself into a private corporation through a partnership with the International Finance Corporation – the World Bank’s private sector arm – and 49 per cent of its shares will be sold to the public.

Xinhua News Agency reported that most of the shares will be sold to local rather than foreign investors.
The funds raised are expected to increase the board’s ability to expand and upgrade services, as electricity consumption has surged in Yangon due to its rapidly growing economy.

Yangon city has the highest electricity-access rate, 63 per cent, in the country, followed by Nay Pyi Taw at 52 per cent and Mandalay at 29 per cent.


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