Thursday, August 17, 2017

New energy master plan for Yangon

A master plan to allow local and foreign investors to have a stake in the energy and electricity sector is underway for the Yangon Region as power consumption continues to surge in the capital city.

This long-exposure picture taken on October 28, 2016 shows parts of the Milky Way in the clear night sky behind an electricity pillar near the Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw highway. Photo: AFPThis long-exposure picture taken on October 28, 2016 shows parts of the Milky Way in the clear night sky behind an electricity pillar near the Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw highway. Photo: AFP

Currently, the Union Government is almost fully responsible for the production of electricity while region and state governments are allowed to produce up to 30 megawatts of power.

However, as costs of power production continue to increase and consumption of energy in the Yangon Region – which accounts for almost half of all electricity produced across the country – grows, the need for a more sustainable energy plan is crucial.

The master plan will amend existing laws to allow local and foreign investors to have a stake in electricity production, transmission and distribution in the Yangon Region, said Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein.

He said that the original energy laws were no longer sustainable as the government was selling electricity at half the actual electricity production cost.

U Phyo Min Thein said that the process of creating this new master plan will be kept open so that all stakeholders will be well-informed of its developments, adding that foreign investors will be invited to make their proposals.

As the cost of energy production continues to rise, industry experts have urged for alternative energy sources to be tapped into.

Reliance on renewable energy sources such as solar power, hydroelectric power and biomass should increase in the future in order to create a sustainable energy plan, said U Zaw Min Win, chair of Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).

Last year, the government subsidised about K450 billion for electricity power distribution, repair of underground and overhead transmission lines and upgrading of sub-transmission stations.