12 May 2007 - 10:46
  • News Code: 104318

Burma has committed to building more hydropower plants in an effort to increase electricity production, according to a report from Rangoon by the Chinese news agency Xinhua.

In early April, Burma began implementation of a 7,110- megawatt (mw) Tar-hsan hydropower project worth $6 billion. The contract of the major Burma-Thailand joint venture project on the Thanlwin River in eastern Shan state is one of the two signed with Thai companies during the past two years.

The Tar-hsan project, which can produce 35.446 billion kilowatt- hours (kwh) a year, is implemented by the Myanmar Hydropower Implementation Department of the Ministry of Electric Power and the MDX Group Co Ltd of Thailand. The project also involves shares of Ratchaburi Co and Ch Karnchang Co of Thailand and China Gezhouba Water and Power Group Co Ltd.

The other joint venture project is a 600-mw Hutgyi on the same river in eastern Kayin state signed with the EGAT Public Company of Thailand. The plant consists of a 600-mw turbine that can produce 3.82 billion kwh yearly, Bangkokpost.com said.

Electricity generated from the two plants will be mainly sold to Thailand with the rest reserved for domestic use, according to the project officials.

Of the two projects, the $6 billion Thai investment in the Tar-hsan has sharply raised Burma’s contracted foreign investment to $13.84 billion, a record high in 2006 since 1988.

Not long after the Tar-hsan project started, Burma speeded up implementation of some six other hydropower projects in Shan and Kachin states.

According to the ministry, the six hydropower projects are Shweli-1 (600 mw) , Shweli-2 (460 mw), Shweli-3 (360 mw), Tarpein- 1 (240 mw), Tarpein-2 (168 mw) and Upper Thanlwin (2,400 mw). Of the projects, the Shweli-1, which lies on the Shweli River in Namhkam, northern Shan state, has been reportedly half- completed.

The Shweli-2 and Shweli-3 are located in Momeik, Shan state while the Tarpein-1 and Tarpein-2 in Momauk, Kachin state and the Upper Thanlwin in Kunlong, northern Shan state.

The Upper Thanlwin hydropower project is the one on which a memorandum of understanding on the implementation was signed in early April between Burma and the Farsighted Investment Group Co Ltd and Gold Water Resources Ltd of China.

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

The seven hydropower projects are those respectively on Ayeyawaddy confluence ( 3,600 mw), in Chibwe (2,000 mw), in Pashe (1,600 mw), in Lakin (1,400 mw), in Phizaw (1,500 mw), in Khaunglanphu (1,700 mw) and in Laiza (1,560 mw).

Burma is currently building over a dozen other hydropower projects in its Mandalay, Bago, Shan, Kayin and Rakhine divisions and states. They include Yeywa (790 mw), Kunchaung (60 mw), Pyuchaung (40 mw), Khabaung (30 mw), Shwegyin (75 mw), Kengtawng ( 54 mw) and Thahtay (102 mw), according to the ministry.

Plans are underway to build more hydropower plants which include Kawgata (160 mw), Bilin (280 mw), Hatkyi (600 mw), Shwesayay (660 mw), Manipura (380 mw), Tanintharyi (600 mw) and Maykha (800 mw).

According to official statistics, Burma had a total of over 1, 775 mw of installed generating capacity of electric power as of September 2006, up from 706.82 mw in 1988 when there were only 24 power plants in the country, of which 14 were hydropower ones.

After 1988, Burma has so far built 39 new power plants, of which 30 are hydropower ones.

The statistics also show that Burma’s electric power generation was registered at 6.014 billion kilowatt-hours (kwh) in 2005-06, up from 2.2 billion units in 1988-89. The power generation for the first half (April-September) of 2006-07 was 3. 153 billion kwh

 

PIN/ XINHUA

News Code 104318

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