09 Feb Myanmar gives nod to Bangladesh power proposal

Written by Mizzima Published in Natural Resources Read 3179 times
Myanmar Vice President U Nyan Tun receives Bangladesh Prime Minister's Energy Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury at the Credentials Hall of the Presidential Palace, Nay Pyi Taw, February 3, 2015. Photo: President's Office
Myanmar Vice President U Nyan Tun receives Bangladesh Prime Minister's Energy Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury at the Credentials Hall of the Presidential Palace, Nay Pyi Taw, February 3, 2015. Photo: President's Office

Myanmar is set to send a technical team to Bangladesh to assess the viability of a Bangladesh government proposal to set up a gas power plant on its soil that will use Myanmar gas to generate electricity to send back to Myanmar, reports The Daily Star on February 9.

The plan comes as a result of a five-day visit in early February by a five-member team headed by Bangladesh Prime Minister's Energy Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury to Nay Pyi Taw. Meetings included Myanmar Vice President U Nyan Tun, Deputy Ministers U Maw Thar Htwe and U Aung Htoo, and Bangladeshi Ambassador to Myanmar Mr Mohammad Sufiur Rahman.

Although Bangladesh has still to link all its citizens to its own power grid, it currently has twice the coverage of neighbouring Myanmar.

According to the newspaper, Myanmar has responded positively to the proposal, one of several options open in its critical efforts to expand the national power grid that currently struggles to serve 33 percent of the population.

According to diplomatic sources, Myanmar has mapped a 15-year power development plan to meet increasing demand, setting its sights on boosting capacity from 4,581 megawatts to over 29,000MW in 2031.

As per the Bangladeshi proposal, the Myanmar gas would be delivered through a pipeline, crossing through the Naf River, to Chittagong in Bangladesh where a power plant would be built. Power generated from the gas supply would be exported again to Myanmar.

If the proposal gets a nod, Bangladesh can earn income from the power generation, and also can buy electricity from it, officials said.

In addition, it was proposed that Bangladesh could import gas through the pipeline, take part in joint investment for power generation, and purchase 500 megawatts of hydropower from Chin or Rakhine states through erecting a cross-border power transmission grid line.

A delegation member told the newspaper that for the “first time” Myanmar was very positive about the proposal, as in the past they tended to say they needed to first deal with their own ongoing electricity crisis before considering exporting to Bangladesh.

Last modified on Monday, 09 February 2015 15:06