Oct 20, 2015

American Firm to Design SEA’s Largest Solar Plant in Magway

Kansas-based infrastructure development firm Black & Veatch has been appointed by Green Earth Power (Thailand) to provide design and consultancy services to build a 220-megawatts (MW) solar power plant in Myanmar.

The construction of the project, billed as the largest solar power plant in Southeast Asia, is set to begin in the first quarter of 2016.

In October last year, Bangkok-based Green Earth Power signed a memorandum of agreement with the Ministry of Electric Power (MOEP) to develop the plant in Minbu, Magway region.

The project is on a 344-hectare site 200 kilometres west of Naypyitaw. The plant is expected to be built in four phases over 30 months with a total investment of $350 million.

“Electricity is an urgent priority in Myanmar and has serious implications on economic and social progress. As solar facilities can be built rapidly, it is an excellent alternative to quickly add power to the grid and ensure meaningful impacts on quality of life,” said Ric O’Connell, International Renewable Energy Director at Black & Veatch.

As more than 70 percent of Myanmar’s population has no access to electricity of any form, the facility is set to provide a boost to local communities and industries.

“Solar energy is the fastest growing form of energy globally and is an excellent solution that provides an alternative to quickly add power to the Myanmar power grid. Solar energy, together with a diversified power generation portfolio, can play an important role in supporting the country’s economic and social progress,” a Black & Veatch spokesperson told Myanmar Business Today via email.

Backed by experiences such as the Lopburi 55MW solar farm in Thailand, Black & Veatch’s scope will be primarily executed by specialised resources based in Bangkok, the company said.

Black & Veatch (as Binnie and Partners) has a history of working in Myanmar that dates back to a water study conducted in 1912 and developing infrastructure such as the Rangoon Pegu Yomas Water Scheme, including Gyobu dam between 1935 and 1941.

The company said it expects many Asian countries to lead the next wave of renewable energy growth. According to a World Bank report, Asia’s performance on renewable energy is strong. Global consumption grew by 4 percent per annum from 2010 to 2012, in Asia the growth was almost twice as fast at close to 8 percent.

“The plant supports the Myanmar government’s aim to increase electricity production from the present 2,500MW to 30,000MW by 2030. Drawing on our deep experience in renewable energy, power generation, water and oil and gas, we are well positioned to support the goal and bring in the full depth and breadth of our regional expertise,” said Pitak Wangvarangkoon, who was recently appointed as the general manager of Black & Veatch’s business in Myanmar.

Black & Veatch (BV) has also recently opened a local office in Yangon to coordinate its pursuits in Myanmar.

“With the opening of a local office in Yangon, Black & Veatch is focused on building relationships with clients and pursuing opportunities in the country,” the BV spokesperson said.

Source: Myanmar Business Today