Yangon and rest of country facing more power cuts

30 November 2022
Yangon and rest of country facing more power cuts
Myanmar man passes by electric pole with cables at a roadside at downtown area in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: EPA

According to a statement from the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, it will not be able to meet Yangon’s electricity demands this summer and it is having to ration electricity.

According to Thaung Han, the Union Electricity and Energy Minister, not enough electricity can be produced to meet the daily demands of all of Yangon's population and electricity will be rationed by providing it in four-hour windows, meaning that after receiving four hours of electricity residents will have their power cut for the next four hours. Different areas of the city will be on different four-hour schedules.

The comments were made at an electric power distribution coordination meeting held at the Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation Office (YESC) in Yangon on 27 November

Thaung Han said: "Although the electric power ministry will not meet the target of supplying the public’s daily power demands plans are in the works to rotate power supply across Myanmar. Right now, we are attempting to supply electricity to Yangon with four hours of electricity followed by four hours without electricity.”

He also urged officials to engage with people and explain the situation to them and the work being undertaken by the ministry to supply them with electricity. He also said that they should make plans so that they are able to distribute power from an alternative power grid, in case the main grid fails.

One Yangon resident said: “Currently, the entire country is experiencing power outages. Previously, electricity was available 24 hours a day. Following the coup, the regime forces only provided electricity at scheduled times. The schedule, however, is not reliable. When the power comes back on, it’s only for a short while. We can't even cook rice in our rice cooker.”

The Ministry of Electricity and Energy said that currently, it can only generate 3,200 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy whilst demand across the country stands at over 4,000 MWh. A ministry spokesperson said: “We are supplying electricity in all states and regions with load shedding [power cuts] at appropriate scheduled times.”

Since the coup, power cuts across the country have become more frequent. In many areas that previously received four to five hours of electricity a day, people are now only receiving two to three hours of electricity a day. Power outages in Myanmar get worse during the summer and there are often six-hour power outages.

To make matters worse, high inflation has also pushed up the price of electricity.