Sunday, August 20, 2017

Myanmar's gas, electricity price on the rise as Ministry faces millions in losses

The Ministry of Electric Power is set to compensate for an estimated K368.952 billion (US$430 million) loss in the 2013-2014 fiscal year by increasing the price of electricity and natural gas, senior representatives of Myanmar Electric Power Enterprises (MEPE) announced last week.

Due to General Transformer’s plans to increase their electricity price and the rising price of natural gas, the Ministry of Electric Power will continue to lose millions if the pricing system remains the same, said Daw Zaw Zaw Than, general manager of the MEPE’s financial department, on Wednesday, December 19.

“We buy and distribute the electricity at a normal price, so the Ministry of Electric Power is losing money. We lose one kyat and 74 pyar for each unit we sell to the Yangon Electricity Supply Board. The Ministry of Electric Power has lost K18.751 billion ($21.9 million) in the 2012-2013 fiscal year,” she said.

The Ministry of Electric Power is currently buying electricity from General Transformer, Hydropower Generation Enterprise and Shwe Li Hydropower Generation Enterprise, and offshore natural gas from the Ministry of Energy

Currently, 67 percent of electricity is sourced from Hydropower Generation Enterprise, while 23pc is sourced from General Transformer and 10pc is sourced from Shwe Li Hydropower Generation Enterprise. General Transformer’s contribution will increase to 31pc after March 2013.

“One of our biggest problems is that we need to buy more natural gas,” Daw Zaw Zaw Than added.

The price of natural gas is currently $5 for one British Thermal Unit (BTU). However, the price will rise to $11.1966 per BTU after March 2013.

Myanmar will implement a standardised system for pricing electricity and natural gas based on an international model, which will be provided for by foreign investment, said Daw Aye Aye Mon, director of the MEPE’s financial department told The Myanmar Times on Wednesday, December 19.

“The [rise in price] will not affect the majority of lower and middle class people. The system will be based the amount of kilowatts each [unit] uses,” she said.

A household expending 200kw over one month will pay K35 per unit while a household expending over 200kw will pay K50 per unit, Daw Aye Aye Mon said. Industrial units expending between 10,000 and 15,000kw per month will be charged K75 per unit.

In comparison, China charges K72 per unit for a household expending up to 150kw over one month while Thailand charges K50 for the same.