Govt seeks MP approval for urgent gas turbine purchase

By NYAN HLAING LYNN | FRONTIER

NAY PYI TAW — The government has asked parliament for urgent funds to buy a portable 25-megawatt generator to help meet Yangon’s power needs for the coming hot season.

Deputy Minister for Electricity and Energy Dr Tun Naing told lawmakers on March 13 that the generator would cost about K30 billion and be able to run on both diesel and natural gas. The deputy minister said the government planned to purchase the TM 2500+ mobile gas turbine, which is produced by American multinational General Electric.

Tun Naing said the Yangon Region government had asked the President’s Office on February 28 to use its Union Reserve Fund to buy the generator because of concerns that existing capacity would not meet demand in April and May. The government considered the purchase to be “an indispensible, special case”, the deputy minister added.

As Frontier recently reported, Yangon residents are likely to face electricity shortages during the coming hot season because the government has not concluded contracts for emergency power supply despite holding a tender last year.

Support more independent journalism like this. Sign up to be a Frontier member.

The government had previously planned to have two separate 300-megawatt emergency power sources in place by summer, when demand spikes and production from the country’s hydropower dams drops sharply.

But several government officials have confirmed that the power purchase agreements with the private power suppliers have still not been signed.

The mobile generator will operate for about five hours a day when demand is at its peak. It will operate on diesel except while gas turbines at stations in Yangon are being repaired. At those times, natural gas supplies will be diverted to the mobile generator.

Because of the urgency, the government has decided not to call a tender. Tun Naing said that it would instead be purchased through a “government-to-government” deal, with a company called Yangon Firm Co Ltd as an intermediary. Tun Naing said Yangon Firm is majority owned by the Yangon Region government, but Frontier could not find it on the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration’s index of registered companies.

Lawmakers are expected to discuss the proposal later this week.

By Nyan Hlaing Lynn

By Nyan Hlaing Lynn

Nyan Hlaing Lynn is a former editor at People's Age Journal and Mizzima. He writes about politics, the military, ethnic conflict and social issues and is based in Nay Pyi Taw.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

More stories

Latest Issue

Stories in this issue
Respect the election result, but don’t gloss over the flaws
The large turnout on November 8 powerfully demonstrated society’s commitment to democracy, but this should not overshadow deep flaws in the electoral process that threaten to undermine future progress.
Image, strategy and friends with money: How the NLD did it again
Trust in Aung San Suu Kyi, a tight social media strategy and help from business leaders were among the factors behind the National League for Democracy’s landslide election win.

Stay on top of Myanmar current affairs with our Daily Briefing and Media Monitor newsletters

Our fortnightly magazine is available in print, digital, or a combination beginning at $80 a year

Sign up for our Frontier Fridays newsletter. It’s a free weekly round-up featuring the most important events shaping Myanmar