Yoma Strategic and Norfund to build distributed power networks in Myanmar


A man drives his bullock cart at Ton village in Monywa, Sagaing Division, Myanmar. Photo: Nyein Chan Naing/EPA

Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd.  has announced its partnership with Norfund, a Norwegian state-owned investment fund, to establish distributed generation micropower plants and mini grids for the purpose of generating and distributing electricity to off-grid rural communities and telecommunications towers in Myanmar.

According to a statement, electricity infrastructure development is a priority for Myanmar to drive economic growth. The World Bank estimates only 16 percent of rural households in Myanmar are connected to the power grid and the demand for power far exceeds the available production capacity, resulting in regular blackouts. The limited production and distribution of power severely hamper economic development and the powering of telecommunications towers.

The new project expects to secure long term power supply contracts with telecommunications towers and telecommunications network operators in off-grid locations, which will serve as the anchor tenant.   Distribution generation micropower plants will be set up around such areas, powered by a combination of PV solar modules, diesel generators and energy storage solutions, with surrounding communities connected through mini grids.  The project aims to generate a commercial return on investment, while providing reliable access to clean electricity in rural locations, allowing villages in remote locations to thrive and develop.

Yoma Strategic and Norfund will each hold a 47.5% interest in Yoma Micro Power (S) Pte. Ltd, a joint venture company that was newly set up, and the remaining 5.0% will be held by Mr Alakesh Chetia, an experienced professional in the power infrastructure sector, who will lead the initiative.

The total initial investment of US$2 million, of which Yoma Strategic will invest US$1 million, will be used to start the company and fund a pilot program in Sagaing Region in Myanmar.

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