JICA to provide funding for 168-MW Baluchaung 2 hydropower plant upgrades

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The Japan International Cooperation Agency has agreed to provide US$67 million to Myanmar’s Electric Power Corporation to help replace machinery at Myanmar’s 168-MW Baluchaung 2 hydropower plant.

The plant and an identical sister plant, both located long the Balu River in central Myanmar, were constructed by Japan following World War II as part of a reparation deal. The projects received upgrades in the 1980s via a Japanese-funded official development assistance (ODA) loan.

EPC did not specify what equipment will be included in the overhaul, but said the JICA-funded work should be complete in 2016.

The upgrades are part of Myanmar’s efforts to increase its access to electricity, where only about 25% of all households have power, according to data from the country’s Ministry of Power. Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise said in 2012 that it had identified about 200 potential sites for development which could produce 38 GW of cumulative capacity.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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