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18 Mar 2019 Updated 26 Jul 2019

Sembcorp fires up Myanmar power plant

The Straits Times Sue-Ann Tan

$420m gas-fired facility helps plug power needs of 5.3m people

Sembcorp Industries has officially opened a US$310 million (S$420 million) power plant in Myanmar.

The facility - in the Myingyan district in Mandalay - is the most efficient power plant in the country. It will generate around 1,500 gigawatt hours of electricity a year, helping to meet the power needs of approximately 5.3 million people. It is also the first power plant in Myanmar to have integrated solar power generation.

Solar panels on the rooftop of the plant's administrative building and warehouse can produce around 106 kilowatt of power at peak performance.

The panels generate electricity for on-site use so the plant will need less of the power generated by gas turbines for its own operations, leaving more for export to the grid. The plant is also one of the largest combined-cycle gas turbine plants in the country, with a contracted capacity of 225 megawatts. It uses advanced technology that maximises power output while minimising greenhouse gas emissions.

Sembcorp Industries group president and chief executive Neil McGregor said: "The plant is a state-of-the-art, efficient facility that signals a new era of advancement for Myanmar's power sector. This project demonstrates Sembcorp's ability to serve as an integrator that brings together finance, technology as well as technical and operational expertise to solve infrastructure challenges."

The plant's opening last Saturday marked the successful delivery of the first competitively-tendered independent power facility and shows the success of Myanmar's new private-public partnership model, Sembcorp noted.

The project was funded by multilateral institutions such as the Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and International Finance Corporation, as well as global commercial lenders, including Clifford Capital, DBS Bank, DZ Bank and OCBC Bank.

The opening ceremony was attended by Union Minister U Win Khaing of Myanmar's Ministry of Electricity and Energy, and Mr Chee Hong Tat, Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education.

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.