The Myanmar Industries Association is urging members to consider alternate forms of private energy production to combat chronic electricity shortages, officials said last week.
“Government-supplied electricity is cut regularly,” U Nyan Tun Oo, Yangon Region Minister for Electricity and Industry, told a workshop for association members in Yangon on July 31.
“Industry owners face major expenses and challenges getting enough electricity. It’s time for us to consider private production and distribution systems,” he said.
U Nyan Tun Oo denied, however, recent reports that the union government plans to cut the electricity supply to industrial zones next April, saying the energy minister told him it is “impossible for the government to stop supplying power to industrial zones.”
Mandalay Region’Minister for Electricity and Industry U Myint Kyu said he had not received any instruction from the union government to cut power to industrial zones.
“We don’t know anything about that,” he said. “We have received no instruction from the union government. We are now distributing electricity 24 hours a day to all industrial zones in our region.”
U Myint Zaw, vice president of the Myanmar Industries Association, said privately generated power plants offered industrialists a way to protect their operations.
“Myanmar’s national electricity grid loses much of its power through line losses. We [private industrialists] have to consider existing and future grid design, policy and prices,” he said.
Workshop praticipants agreed to conduct further research into private electricity production processes in the next three months by cooperating with technology universities and ministries. The association will then propose a national-level workshop.
Presentations on coal- and gas-powered plants, which would be the cheapest ways to generate electricity, were made at the workshop.
The country aims to boost electricity supply to more than 3000 megawatts (MW) in 2016. Current production is 1850MW, although demand is 2060MW, the union Minister for Electric Power told parliament in February.
The report “New Energy Architecture” released by the Asian Development Bank in June estimated that demand for electricity in Myanmar is growing by at least 12 percent a year.