Myanmar Gets First Foreign Investments for Power Projects in Fiscal Year Transition

YANGON — Myanmar has received its first foreign investments in the power supply sector in the transitional six-month fiscal period, which started on April 1, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).

A gas-fired power plant will be built in Mandalay Region’s Singaing Township as part of a joint venture between China’s Power Gen Kyaukse and two Myanmar companies, DICA Deputy Director-General U Than Aung Kyaw said during a press conference in Yangon on Tuesday.

Construction of the $92.7 million, 145-megawatt plant is expected to begin next year. The Myanmar Investment Commission approved the project at a meeting on Friday.

“Most of the rural villages are in remote areas and are out of reach of the national grid. It is good that foreign investors have invested in the country’s power supply sector. But it would be better if electricity bills were low,” U Kyaw Kyaw Hlaing, chairman of the Myanmar Oil and Gas Entrepreneurs Association, told The Irrawaddy.

The Investment Commission also approved a power project in Myeik, Tanintharyi Region. Min Zaw Ni Fisheries Co, a local company, will invest more than 9.5 billion kyat ($6.1 million) to produce electricity with generators and distribute it in the township.

In the 2017-18 fiscal year, the Investment Commission approved five foreign investment projects in the power supply sector from Singapore, Japan and China totaling $406 million, according to DICA.

They were a 230-megawatt gas-fired power plant in Mon State operated by Myanmar Lighting (IPP) Co; a paddy-husk biomass power plant operated by Myaung Mya FM Biomass Power Co. in Irrawaddy Region; the 99-megawatt Chipwe Nge hydropower dam in Kachin State by Chipwi Nge Hydro Co; a diesel generator-powered 10-megawatt project also in Mon State; and a 19-megawatt power supply project for i-Land Estate in Bago Region operated by i-Land Park Myanmar Ltd.

The Investment Commission also approved four power supply projects from citizens worth $78 million and more than 10.7 trillion kyats.

They include a hydropower project in Shan State, a power project with residual fuel oil in Mon State, a power project with fossil fuel also in Mon State, and a coal-fired power plant in Shan State, according to DICA.

Domestic electricity consumption has increased 15 percent annually in Myanmar. Currently households pay 35 kyats per unit up to 100 units and 40 kyats for every unit after that up to 200 units. Any unit above 200 costs 50 kyats.

Industrial users pay 75 kyats per unit up to 500 units, 100 kyats for every unit after that up to 10,000 units, 125 kyats for every unit after that up to 50,000 units, and 150 kyats for every unit after that up to 300,000 units. The price drops to 100 kyats for each unit above 300,000.

Source: The Irrawaddy

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