Oct 7, 2012

Myanmar OKs private engagement in electricity production

Myanmar's power authorities have allowed private entrepreneurs to engage in electricity production as independent producers on a manageable scale as part of its bid to help ease power shortage in the country, official media reported Sunday.

The entrepreneurs are set to generate 230 KV (Kilo volts) and 66 KV, standardized by the Ministry of Electric Power, and to supply electricity in line with the prescribed volume, power officials were quoted by the New Light of Myanmar as saying.

However, entrepreneurs reflected that scrutiny for private engagement in power production is to be undertaken to encourage competitiveness and avoid monopoly.

There had been a power crisis in Myanmar since May with candlelight demonstrations against the country's power cut taking place for several weeks in some towns in Myanmar like Thongkua, Mandalay, Monywa, Bago, Pyay, Yangon and Pathein.

The then power blackout was partly caused by armed groups' mine destruction of Ruili-Mansan power grid towers.

Prompted by the peaceful demonstrations against blackout, the authorities have taken some urgent measures to ease the power crisis by ordering some 12 heavy-duty generators of 300 to 500 KVA and two gas turbines from the Caterpillar Co. and General Electric Co, as well as from Singapore.

They were distributed to Yangon, Mandalay, Pyay and put into use. In addition, the authorities also hired some three 120- megawatt gas turbines from Japan to help generate power.

Steps were also taken to supply power alternatively in some townships when electricity demand far exceeded supply especially in the summer season.

According to the Ministry of Electric Power, due to an increase in number of electric power users and state-owned and private factories and workshops, the demand has hit 1,890 megawatts (mw) against actual supply of 1,500 mw.

Source: Xinhua