The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing an $80 million loan to upgrade Yangon’s electricity transmission ring line system to 230 kilovolts (kV) which will benefit more than one million customers according to an ADB statement on 24 November.
“The aging and overloaded transmission network requires urgent improvements to provide stable and ample supplies of power to support the country’s economic growth targets and poverty reduction objectives,” said Bui Duy Thanh, senior energy economist at ADB’s Southeast Asia Department. “Yangon plays a central role as an economic hub for the country and this assistance will help the government ensure reliable power supplies are provided to the city and surrounding areas.”
The Power Transmission Improvement Project will upgrade the Thida-Thaketa-Kyaikasan transmission ring lines to 230 kV from 66 kV and construct two new substations at South Okkalapa and West University. This will complete the critical 230 kV ring for Yangon straddling the substations of Ahlone, Thida, Thaketa, South Okkalapa, Hlawga, MyangTagar, West University, Hlaing Thayar and back to Ahlone. The work will complement associated upgrades being done by the Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise.
Myanmar’s economy is expected to grow at around 7.8% per year over the next decade and to meet the rising demand for power, estimated at over 9% annually through to 2030, the government needs to develop new generation sources and to expand and strengthen the transmission and distribution networks. The government has drawn up a development masterplan to meet its energy goals, and ADB has been supporting the government through infrastructure upgrades, regulatory development and institutional capacity building.
To complement ADB’s concessional loan, the government will provide counterpart support of $3.3 million equivalent, covering administration costs, environmental and social safeguard measures, and the construction of access roads and staff housing in substation areas. The project will run for over 3 years with an expected completion date of June 2019.