Myanmar Plans Electricity Expansion with Assistance from ADB, Japan

A $2.85 million grant from Japan and ADB will help Myanmar formulate a long-term energy plan and prepare to expand and upgrade its power grid.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB), through $2.85 million in grant financing from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR), will help the Government of Myanmar formulate a long-term energy plan and prepare to expand and upgrade its power grid.

“Myanmar has indicated that its energy policy should promote sustainable and renewable resources, as well as focus on energy efficiency and conservation. A master plan will help the country assess its energy needs and provide a roadmap to meet them,” said Jong-Inn Kim, Lead Energy Specialist at ADB’s Southeast Asia Department.

Using a $1.35 million JFPR grant, ADB will work with the National Energy Management Committee and seven line ministries responsible for the country’s energy sector to formulate a 20-year energy plan that improves coordination and focuses policies on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.

At present, Myanmar is one of the five largest energy exporters in the region, but within its borders, electrification rates are some of the lowest in Southeast Asia, owing largely to a lack of investment in the power development and grid. Energy sources are plentiful – including hydropower and biomass options. The oil and gas sector accounts for one-third of Foreign Direct Investment in Myanmar, or $13.6 billion from January 1995 to September 2011.

ADB has also approved a second technical assistance, using $1.5 million in JFPR funds, to prepare the Ministry of Electric Power for the implementation of a forthcoming transmission and distribution projects that will bring reliable electricity connections to both rural and urban areas, increasing transmission capacity and reducing losses in the transmission and distribution systems.

The project will focus on rehabilitating distribution networks in Yangon, Mandalay, Sagaing, and Magwe Regions and expanding the transmission capacity.