October 13, 2008

Roundup: More Regional Companies to Launch Hydropower Project in Myanmar

Roundup: More regional companies to launch hydropower project in Myanmar

YANGON, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- More regional companies will launch a hydropower project in Myanmar's southern Tanintharyi division, the state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported Sunday.

Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed recently in Nay Pyi Taw between the Myanmar Ministry of Electric Power-1, The Italian-Thai Development Public Co. Ltd based in Thailand and the Windfall Energy Services Ltd of British Virgin Island based in Singapore, two foreign companies -- Thailand-based and Singapore- based companies -- will launch the hydropower project of 600 megawatts(mw).

The MoU came after India's National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Ltd took up two similar projects in Myanmar last month, namely the Htamanthi's of 1,200 mw' generating capacity and the Shwesayay's of 600 mw under similar MoU.

In recent years, companies from Thailand, China, South Korea, Bangladesh and India were engaged in Myanmar's hydropower projects.

Major hydropower projects that Thailand is involved go to the 7, 110-mw Tar-hsan's on Myanmar's Thanlwin River in eastern Shan state's Tachilek which started in April 2007 by Myanmar and the MDX Group Co Ltd of Thailand under a 6-billion-U.S.-dollar contract reached in April 2006.

The hydropower plant will produce 35.446 billion kwh a year, according to the contract.

The 6-billion-dollar Thai investment in the Tar-hsan hydropower project had sharply raised Myanmar's contracted foreign investment to 14.736 billion dollars as of the end of 2007, a record high since late 1988.

Another Thai-engaged hydropower project is the 600-mw Hutgyi's on Myanmar's Thanlwin River being implemented by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) under an agreement signed in December 2005. It can produce 3.82 billion kilowatt hours (kwh) yearly.

The project constitutes part of those on the Thanlwin and Tanintharyi Rivers agreed earlier between the two countries in June 2005.

Power generated from these projects is expected to be partly exported to Thailand.

Besides, Myanmar has signed five contracts respectively with some Chinese companies since 2004 on the implementation of the country's 790-mw Yeywa hydropower project on the Myitnge River which can generate 3.55 billion kwh of electricity annually upon completion.

Other China-involved hydropower projects were located in the Upper Paunglaung by the Yunnan Machinery and Equipment Import and Export Co Ltd (YMEC) and the Upper Thanlwin by the Farsighted Investment Group Co Ltd and Gold Water Resources Ltd.

Moreover, the China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) was also reportedly to build seven hydropower projects for Myanmar on the confluence of Ayeyawaddy river and Maykha and Malikha rivers in Kachin state with a combined capacity of 13,360 mw.

In cooperation with South Korea in developing the sector, Myanmar agreed in July 2006 with the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) to develop Myanmar's electric power network dealing with management and operation. The network project, worth of 1.4 million U.S. dollars, includes the transfer of South Korean knowledge and experience in power system operation and protection, general facilities testing, fault analysis and the provision of relay equipment, official sources said.

In the latest development, Myanmar and Bangladesh are enhancing cooperation in seeking to build hydropower plants in Myanmar for export of electricity to Bangladesh.

The exploration has identified potential sites for such move in some areas in two states in western and northwestern parts of the country, local reports said.

According to the government's National Investment Commission, the electric power sector dominated foreign investment in Myanmar with 6.311 billion U.S. dollars as of the end of 2007.

Statistics also show that Myanmar had a total of over 1,690 mw of installed generating capacity of electric power as of April 2008 and the power generated stood at 6.603 billion kwh in 2007-08, up from 6.172 billion kwh in 2006-07.

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