Private gas-fired power project adds 230MW to national grid

A new privately run gas-fired power plant has joined the national grid system, boosting Myanmar’s power capacity, according to state newspapers.

In 2011, Myanmar had 10 state-owned gas-fired power plants, with a total capacity of 270 megawatts (MW). Since then, 10 privately run gas-fired power plants have been connected to the national grid, bringing total capacity up to 1200MW in 2016, said U Khin Maung Soe, Union minister for the Ministry of Electric Power (MOEP), as quoted in Myanma Alin.

“Total installed capacity of the 10 state gas-fired plants was only 715MW in 2011, rising to 2403MW of installed capacity across state- and privately run power plants in 2016,” he said.

The Mawlamyine combined-cycle power plant was developed by Myanmar Lighting under the government’s independent power producer (IPP) system. The plant has a generation capacity of 230MW from four gas-fired turbines and two steam turbines.

The project was developed in three phases and began generating power in 2014, according to MOEP.

The government rolled out its IPP system in 2011 to encourage private investment in electricity production, especially in areas off the national grid, hoping to produce more power and alleviate shortages.

The first projects were in the Yangon area – privately run gas-fired power plants in Hlawga, Ywarma, Ahlone and Thaketa started electricity generation in 2013. Together, these projects added 220MW of capacity, said U Khin Maung Soe.

In 2014 the first phase of Myanmar Lighting’s combined-cycle power plant in Mawlamyine and an engine based gas-fired plant in Kyaukse near Mandalay were developed, adding 273MW. In 2015, two more engine based gas-fired power plants were built in Kyaukphyu in Rakhine State and Myingyan in Mandalay Region, adding 135MW. Another 70MW from the second phase of Myanmar Lighting’s project was also added last year.

This year so far, capacity has been boosted by 240MW with 180MW from the projects in Kyaukphyu and Myingyan and an additional 60MW from the project in Mawlamyine, said U Khin Maung Soe.

“Electricity consumption is increasing 15 percent annually. We are using various ways of power generation from natural gas, diesel, coal, hydropower, solar and wind as a renewable energy to increase power generation and meet this growing demand,” he said.

A number of new gas-fired power-plant projects are also being developed by international companies under agreements with MOEP.

For example, the government plans to upgrade a gas-fired power plant in Mon State’s Thaton township using a loan from the World Bank. The plant will be able to generate 106MW once the project is complete – the ageing turbines are only able to produce 40MW at present.

Last December, the MOEP and Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries signed an agreement to develop a gas-fired project in Myingyan. The project will be the largest gas-fired power plant in the country with installed capacity of 225MW and will begin generation this coming April.

The government has also signed a memorandum of understanding with a consortium led by Japan’s Marubeni Corporation for a US$1 billion, 400MW gas-fired power plant in Yangon’s Thanlyin township, which will be built later this year.

Last September, MOEP announced an IPP tender inviting local and international firms to develop gas-fired power plants in Yangon and Myingyan with a total capacity of 270MW. The tender winners have not yet been announced.

Myanmar’s energy consumption is among the lowest in the world. Around 70pc of the population and 84pc of rural households have no access to electricity according to a World Bank report published in June last year.

Around 7.2 million new connections must be added by 2030 to achieve 100pc electrification, requiring an average of 450,000 new connections per year – more than double the current rate, according to the report.

The country’s 4255MW of total installed capacity comprises around 70pc hydropower and 27pc gas-fired plants according to MOEP.


Source: Myanmar Times

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