EGATi seeks Myanmar power plants
Aiming to join forces with local operators to alleviate country's supply shortfall
Egat International Co (EGATi), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) is in talks with local operators to construct small gas-fired power plants in Myanmar.
The company is seeking at least 10 potential sites for the construction of power plants with a capacity of 5-10 megawatts. EGATi estimates the investment budget at US$3-6 million per plant.
Liquefied petroleum gas will be the main fuel for power generation in Myanmar.
According to president Watchara Hemruchatanun, once EGATi has local partners, the next step will be to meet with Myanmar's policymakers.
"We expect to come up with a further conclusion about our projects in Myanmar very soon," he said. "We aim to sell the electricity to local household users and distribute through local state administrations."
Mr Watchara said the company is confident that the Myanmar business plan will be worthwhile for EGATi's investment because local users pay power bills of up to 10 baht per kilowatt-hour.
Thai users have to pay just 3-5 baht per kilowatt-hour, and 60% of the power generated comes from natural gas.
"Myanmar users remain on diesel electric generators, which makes for a very high cost of power generation," Mr Watchara said.
Nonetheless, Mi Mi Khaing, director-general of Myanmar's Department of Electricity Power Planning, said the power supply in her country is outstripped by the people's demand.
The department forecasts supply of 3,360MW and demand of 4,531MW in 2018.
"By 2025, power demand will reach 8,121MW in Myanmar, thanks to the expanding population and economic size, but the supply remains unchanged if policymakers don't plan for more new power plants," Mi Mi Khaing said.
Yesterday, the Thai embassy in Yangon and the Thai Business Association of Myanmar held the "Myanmar Insight 2018" economic seminar to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Thailand-Myanmar diplomatic relations.
Myanmar is also seeking further business support from Thai counterparts in the areas of petroleum exploration and power generation.
EGATi was launched in 2007 to expand power generation abroad. Although set up as a wholly owned Egat subsidiary, EGATi was intended to work like its private sector counterparts.
In Myanmar, EGATi conducted a feasibility study of the construction of the Hatgyi dam project in Karen State, near the border of Thailand, but it got pushback from local villagers living along the Salween River.
EGATi currently has only one power plant in a neighbouring country: the Nam Ngiep 1 Hydropower Project with a capacity of 289MW, located on the Ngiep River in Laos's Bolikhamxay province.