Myanmar is moving forward with plans to build the 66-MW Maingwa hydroelectric project on Nantlway Creek in area controlled by National Democratic Alliance Army.
Myanmar’s Ministry of Electric Power (MOEP) and special-purpose company, Shan State East Development Company Ltd., signed a contract on March 22 under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) system to implement the Maingwa project in Mongla Township, located in the eastern part of Shan State.
The cost for the project is not immediately available, but the contract is with leaders of Mong La – a quasi-autonomous region on the Myanmar-China border controlled by the National Democratic Alliance Army.
The signing ceremony took place at MOEP facilities in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar’s capital city.
The World Bank says Myanmar (formerly Burma) has hydropower potential for up to 10 GW. Geographically the country is centrally located between South and Southeast Asia, but the unexploited hydropower resources are seen as having obstructed the county’s economic development.
In February 2015 during a World Bank workshop in Myanmar on hydropower potential, MOEP’s Hydropower Department said there are 302 hydropower projects in the entire country that have a theoretical installed capacity of 46,330 MW. However, there is currently only 3,011 MW connected to the Myanmar national grid. The government is developing electrification to cover the entire population.
MOEP seeks to develop hydroelectric power in the country via three broad categories:
- Ministry only development (i.e., funded from the MOEP budget);
- Local entrepreneurs, on a BOT joint venture basis; and
- Foreign direct investment on a joint venture BOT basis.
U Sai Lin, Mong La Special Region 4 chairman, and other leaders agreed to continue the project under a BOT scheme.
Lin said Shan State East Development Company Ltd. is now waiting for approval of its environmental and social impact assessment report. Later, the company will require permission from the Myanmar Investment Commission for its next steps.