Myanmar: Power Distribution Improvement Project

Sovereign (Public) Project | 46390-003 Status: Active

ADB is helping Myanmar provide better access to a more reliable supply of electricity in four regions of the country. The project will rehabilitate the distribution network in selected townships and districts in Yangon, Mandalay, Sagaing, and Magway regions. It will help reduce system losses, resulting in increased supply of electricity to urban and rural consumers. 

Project Details

Project Officer
Jung, Choon Sik Southeast Asia Department Request for information
  • Myanmar
  • Energy
Project Name Power Distribution Improvement Project
Project Number 46390-003
Country Myanmar
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan 3084-MYA: Power Distribution Improvement Project
concessional ordinary capital resources lending / Asian Development Fund US$ 60.00 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Energy - Electricity transmission and distribution

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming No gender elements
Description The project will rehabilitate the distribution network in five townships in Yangon region (Hlaingthaya, Insein, Kamayut, Mayangone, and Mingaladon), four districts in Mandalay region (Kyaukse, Meikhtila, Myingyen, and Yameethin), five districts in Sagaing region (Kalay, Katha, Monywa, Sagaing, and Shwebo), and two townships in Magway region (Aungland and Magway). These areas were selected in consultation with the Ministry of Electric Power (MOEP), Yangon City Electricity Supply Board (YESB), and Electricity Supply Enterprise (ESE). The project will help reduce system losses and subsequently increase the electricity supply to urban and rural consumers to support inclusive and sustainable economic development.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Strengthening power supply capacity is critical for reducing poverty and enhancing the medium- and long-term development prospects of Myanmar. Persistent power brownouts during the dry season adversely impact economic and social activities. Electrification is urgently required; without it large areas of the country will be severely hampered in their efforts to advance economically. Basic and socioeconomic needs also depend on electrification, without which, health, education, and other essential services will inevitably suffer. About 68% of available electricity is used in Yangon (46%) and Mandalay (22%) regions (the country has 14 regions and states).

Low national electricity coverage. Although electricity consumption in Myanmar has doubled during the last 10 years, total electricity consumption in 2012 was 8,434 gigawatt-hours. With a population of about 60 million, Myanmar's per capita electricity consumption was only 140 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year the lowest among the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member countries. The low consumption is due to lack of industrial development, lack of investment, and poor electrification ratio. The country's average electrification ratio increased from about 16% in 2006 to 28% in 2012. Yangon City has the highest ratio (72%), followed by Nay Pyi Taw (65%), Kayah (42%), and Mandalay (35%). The remaining rural areas have electrification ratios averaging about 21%.

High distribution losses. As of December 2012, total system installed power generation capacity was 3,495 megawatts (MW), comprising 2,660 MW (76.1%) hydropower, 715 MW (20.5%) gas-fired, and 120 MW (3.4%) coal-fired. Due to scheduled maintenance and various limitations of operations at several power plants, the actual firm capacity as of December 2012 was 1,957 MW. Although the installed capacity exceeds the 2012 peak load of 1,796 MW, during the dry season hydropower plants cannot generate to full capacity due to lack of water. Hence, the country's power grid is experiencing of up to 400 MW 500 MW of load shedding during the dry season. The transmission lines and transformers have limited capacity. The network also has high transmission and distribution losses. Technical and nontechnical losses of the distribution system were as high as 23% in 2003 and decreasing to 18.2% in 2012. Therefore, improvement of the distribution network is urgently needed.

Sector governance and institutions. The regulatory framework for power includes the Electricity Act of 1948 (as amended in 1967), the Myanmar Electricity Law (1984), and the Electricity Rules (1985). MOEP is responsible for the power subsector. Within MOEP, Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise is responsible for the development and implementation of the transmission network, covering the voltages of 66 kilovolts (kV), 132 kV, and 230 kV. Two distribution enterprises operate the distribution systems in the country YESB and ESE. YESB is responsible for the supply of electricity to consumers in Yangon City and ESE for the rest of the country comprising 13 states and regions, including off-grid generation and distribution. Operation and maintenance capacity of the two distribution enterprises is adequate, but due to limited availability of parts and manual operation of distribution systems, performance of the distribution systems is poor.

Low electricity tariffs. From January 2012, the electricity tariffs was MK35/kWh for general purpose (households), street lighting, and government offices; and MK75/kWh for domestic power, and small and bulk power. On 27 October 2013, the government announced the increase in electricity tariff with effect from 1 November 2013: MK35/kWh for households (until 100 kWh) and MK50/kWh (for 101 kWh and above); MK100/kWh for industry, enterprise, and lumpsum (until 5,000 kWh) and MK150/kWh for industry, enterprise, and lumpsum (for 5,001 kWh and above); MK50/kWh for government offices; and MK100/kWh for industrial use of government departments. Off-grid consumer tariffs vary depending on the cost of generation by diesel or other means (e.g., solar, mini-hydropower) and may range from MK100/kWh to MK300/kWh.

Priority areas for future investments. Significant investments are needed to (i) improve and upgrade the distribution systems, especially in Yangon and Mandalay regions; (ii) address the current shortage of power generation through rehabilitation and new additions; (iii) reinforce the transmission grid and associated substations; and (iv) extend transmission and distribution networks to connect more consumers, particularly in rural areas. A consolidated development and investment plan for the power subsector is not available. The preparation of a long-term power master plan commenced in July 2013, with assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); it is expected to be completed by June 2014.

ADB assistance. Up to 1987, ADB provided five loans totaling $31.6 million and three technical assistance (TA) projects totaling $1.27 million for the power subsector. Since 1987, no loans and TA were provided. Until reengagement in March 2012, ADB obtained limited information on the power subsector through the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program. The Myanmar Energy Sector Initial Assessment (October 2012) recognizes that ADB should resume providing assistance to the power subsector to enhance reliability by rehabilitating and expanding transmission and distribution networks. The New Energy Architecture: Myanmar defines the enabling environment for achieving the long-term objectives of economic growth and development, energy access and security, and environmental sustainability. Since reengagement, ADB has provided a total of about $4.7 million of TA to enhance capacity, strengthen planning, enhance the legal and regulatory framework, and prepare power projects. To enhance MOEP capacity, ADB assistance includes (i) a power advisor to MOEP; (ii) international and national experts for preparing a transmission and distribution grid code, and electric standards and specifications; (iii) preparation of a financial management assessment of four enterprises within MOEP; and (iv) formulation of proper safeguard requirements and procedures. Also, to strengthen the legal framework, ADB provided assistance for drafting the revised electricity law and subsequent electricity regulation, and introducing the regulatory authority to enhance transparency and attract private sector participation. In addition, project preparatory TA conducted a feasibility study for transmission expansion. The project is included in the draft country operations business plan for Myanmar and is in line with ADB's interim country partnership strategy for Myanmar for 2012 2014, which emphasizes the need to support power infrastructure.

Development coordination. ADB, JICA, and the World Bank have closely coordinated their assistance for the power subsector with MOEP following reengagement. They have agreed that (i) ADB will undertake rehabilitation of distribution networks in Yangon, Mandalay, Sagaing, and Magway regions; (ii) the World Bank will carry out rehabilitation of a 108 MW gas-fired plant at Thaton; and (iii) JICA will undertake rehabilitation of gas-fired plants within Yangon, a hydropower plant, and distribution networks in other townships in Yangon.

Impact Reduced power distribution loss and improved energy efficiency
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Improved infrastructure to provide reliable and sustainable electricity to the selected townships and districts
Progress Toward Outcome Project implementation is progressing satisfactorily.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Rehabilitated distribution network in five townships in Yangon region

Rehabilitated distribution network in four districts in Mandalay region

Rehabilitated distribution network in five districts in Sagaing region

Rehabilitated distribution network in two townships in Magway region

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues) The delivered equipment/materials are now in the designated warehouses in Yangon, Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway project areas. Distribution transformers were almost installed in each project area. The installation of distribution lines and substations are almost complete. Additional equipment is being procured utilizing loan savings.
Geographical Location
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects Due diligence, with recommendations for mitigating measures, is being undertaken on workers' health and safety, and material recovery and disposal of replaced materials and equipment. Reporting requirements are being complied.
Involuntary Resettlement No social assessment is required but the environmental and social implications need to be reviewed regularly.
Indigenous Peoples No social assessment is required but the environmental and social implications need to be reviewed regularly.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation This project is classified as a general intervention and has a general stakeholder communication strategy. The EA will post all relevant information on its website. The website will include at minimum information regarding the bidding process, bidders, contract awards, use of funds disbursed under the Project and physical progress. The project will also follow the ADB's Public Communication Policy 2011 and its guidelines on the disclosure and exchange of information.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services A consulting firm will be engaged using the quality- and cost-based selection method with a 90:10 ratio and full technical proposal in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2013, as amended from time to time).
Procurement The project will procure six procurement packages with international competitive bidding using the single-stage, one-envelope method under the ADB loan. The government will finance procurement of concrete poles using counterpart funds and follow its procurement guidelines. YESB and ESE will undertake rehabilitation, replacement, and installation works, including commissioning.
Responsible ADB Officer Jung, Choon Sik
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Energy Division, SERD
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Electricity and Energy
No. B-07, Yadana Shwe Pyi St.,
Zaya Theidi Ward, Nay Pyi Taw
Concept Clearance 22 Mar 2013
Fact Finding 22 Jul 2013 to 02 Aug 2013
MRM 03 Oct 2013
Approval 06 Dec 2013
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 21 Mar 2017

Loan 3084-MYA

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
06 Dec 2013 28 Jan 2014 31 Mar 2014 31 Dec 2018 - -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 73.70 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 60.00 06 Dec 2013 37.93 0.00 70%
Counterpart 13.70 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 06 Dec 2013 35.39 0.00 65%

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Public Communications Policy (PCP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

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Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

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