Burmese Minister Oversees Power Generation Deals in the UK

By The Irrawaddy 8 July 2014

RANGOON — Burmese Minister for Electric Power Khin Maung Soe has overseen the signing of two deals that will see British technology, including Rolls Royce gas turbines, aid efforts to address Burma’s chronic electricity shortage.

The minister arrived in the United Kingdom on Monday on a four-day visit that will include meetings with high ranking British government officials and UK-based companies, according to a press release from the British Embassy in Rangoon.

“These meetings will provide an excellent forum to discuss Burma’s political and economic reform process, UK support to the Ministry of Electric Power via development aid and the opportunities for British companies to invest in power generation and transmission in Burma,” the release said.

Burma has recently signed a handful of deals to buy power from foreign private companies as it looks to address a nationwide scarcity of electricity that means cities are often subjected to rolling blackouts and factories are forced to rely on off-grid diesel generators.

Khin Maung Soe and Hugo Swire, a British Foreign Office minister, attended the signing of two deals on Monday between Burmese and British companies.

The renowned car and engine manufacturer Rolls Royce signed an agreement with Zeya & Associates to provide three 9.2 MW gas turbines to expand the existing Hlawga power plant in Rangoon’s Mingaladon Township, the embassy said.

Aggreko, a company with headquarters in Scotland that provides temporary power generation, also signed a deal with Andaman Power and Utility for a gas power plant in Kanbauk, Tenasserim Division. “[T]he plant will provide affordable energy to the residents of Dawei who currently rely on diesel generators for electricity,” the release said.

It quoted Swire as saying that both companies had joined him on a trade mission to Naypyidaw in December 2012. “British companies have great expertise to offer Burma in its economic development, and we hope this will ultimately support jobs and growth in both countries,” Swire was quoted saying.