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Dash for gas power capacity continues in Myanmar as the market heats up

Thai-based Admin Power & Utility Co Ltd has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Electric Power to build a 60 megawatt power plant in Dawei district that runs on natural gas from Zawtika gas project, officials from the company said.

Whilst the construction period for the 500 MW plant will take some time, the 60 megawatt power plant will be built within eight months to supply electricity to Dawei area after receiving permission from the ministry, according to the officials.

Officials and an engineer team from the company visited Dawei to study the area where the power plant will be built and meet with the chief minister of Tanintharyi Region.

“Admin Power & Utility Co Ltd has signed a MOU with the Ministry of Electric Power to conduct preliminary survey to build the natural gas power plant project in Kanpauk area. We are now in the last stage of the preliminary survey. [The project] can generate 500 megawatt power. It will take a long time to build a power line and power plant [for the 500 megawatt power plant project],” said an official from Admin Power & Utility Co Ltd.

“As we will start receiving natural gas around March 2014, we will try to build this 60 megawatt power plant quickly in order not to waste the gas. At the same time, we will build the 230 KVA power line from Kanpauk to Dawei. It will take eight months to construct the 60 megawatt power plant and the 230 KVA power line. We’ve already bought the 60 megawatt machine,” said the official.

“This power plant can supply electricity for the Dawei special economic zone. The electricity generated from the plant will be transferred to the Ministry of Electric Power…The Ministry will provide the electricity to the areas that are in need. After the Kanpauk-Dawei power line has been completed, we are ready to provide electricity to nearby areas that are located near the power line,” he said.

He added that the company will follow the rates set by the Ministry to charge per unit and it is only responsible for the production sector and not the distribution and transportation sectors.

“We will have to urge the Ministry of Electric Power to give the approval quickly. Since the Rakhine State is getting electricity from the Shwe gas project with government rate, the residents here also want electricity. But, the Ministry of Electric Power needs to submit [the proposal] to MIC [Myanmar Investment Commission] quickly. Even though the company said it will take eight months to complete [the construction], they are in the position to finish it within four months if the paperwork has been finished faster,” said Win Swe, Minister of Electric Power and Industry of the Tanintharyi Regional Government.

“It’s important to give the same rate here as the ones given in Rakhine State. The union government will not do any discrimination. If it’s 35 kyats [per unit] in Rakhine State, then it will probably be 35 kyats in Dawei as well. There will be a lot of businesses when we get electricity,” said Win Swe.

According to him, the company can only start its operation after signing the memorandum of agreement and is expected to start around March.

The 500 megawatt power plant will be built in Kanpauk area, about 60 miles from Dawei. The company has designated to build a 160 megawatt power plant between February 2014 and January 2015 for the first phase, a 180 megawatt power plant between July 2014 and July 2015 for the second phase, 160 megawatt power plant between December 2015 and December 2016 for the third phase.

As the Tanintharyi Region is excluded from the National Power Grid, the local residents have to pay 460 kyats per unit from Phoe Tee Cho, a local power distributor. The current electricity usage in Dawei and nearby areas is only 2 megawatt and it is expected to rise if the prices have been reduced.

PTTEP will supply 100 MMSFCD (Million Standard Cubic/Day) gas from the Zawtika project for the power plant.

Besides the 500 megawatt power plant project, other projects are being implemented in the Tanintharyi Region including the 200 megawatt wind-powered project in Three Hills, 50 megawatt coal-powered project in Myeik district, 8 megawatt coal-powered project in Kawthaung district and 500 megawatt coal-powered project in Boatpyin. Electricity generated from these projects will be connected to the Mawlamyaine Power Grid and transported to the National Power Grid.

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