In order to have a better understanding of Myanmar's energy sector, an ADB mission visited Myanmar from 20 through 30 September 2011. The information and findings gathered during the mission served in drafting an initial assessment of the sector. Subsequently, the assessment has been updated to reflect the findings of follow-up ADB missions and consultations with the government.
Clearly, strengthening Myanmar's energy sector is critical to reducing poverty and enhancing the medium and long-term development prospects of the country. Electrification is an urgent requirement, without which whole areas of the country will be severely hampered in their efforts to advance economically. Social progress also depends on electrification, without which health, education, and other essential services inevitably suffer. There are many dimensions to the sector and they must be addressed comprehensively and systematically so as to ensure efficient and effective use of resources. While electrification, especially of rural areas, is of primary concern, issues of sustainability and protection of the environment must be considered simultaneously.
Drawing from this initial assessment of the energy sector, but with the caveat that a comprehensive assessment is needed, Myanmar's development partners - in consultation with the government - could begin considering support for the sector by focusing on several apparent priorities including: