Myanmar Regime Signs Wind Energy Deal With Chinese Companies

By Hein Htoo Zan 2 March 2023

Myanmar’s junta-controlled Ministry of Electric Power (MOEP) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on March 1 to develop Myanmar’s first wind power projects with two Chinese companies and a local company.

The MoA was signed in the capital Naypyitaw and the projects will be launched in Rakhine State’s Ann, Gwa and Thandwe townships.

Myanmar company Primus Advanced Technologies Limited and Chinese companies, Asia Ecoenergy Development Limited, registered in Hong Kong, and Yunnan Machinery and Equipment Import and Export Co Ltd, will develop the projects.

The MoA signing ceremony was attended by China’s ambassador to Myanmar Chen Hai and U Thaung Han, the military regime’s Minister of Electric Power.

U Thaung Han said that a wind power project which could generate 150 Megawatts (MW) will be developed in Ann Township, a 100 MW project in Gwa, and a 110 MW project in Thandwe. The projects should be able to generate power by 2025, according to a MOEP statement.

Ambassador Chen Hai said that Chinese companies will continue to collaborate with Myanmar in the energy sector, and hailed the fact that the Rakhine projects are the first wind energy projects in Myanmar.

Another China-backed power project, a power plant in Rakhine’s Kyaukphyu Township, started operating in October last year. It was developed by the Kyauk Phyu Electric Power Company, a joint venture between Power China Resources and the locally owned Supreme Group, and is part of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor.

It is currently unknown where the electricity generated by the Rakhine wind power projects will be used.

Ko Khin Oo, the founder of the Arr Mhan environmental conservation organization based in Rakhine’s Kyaukphyu which monitors China’s investments in Rakhine State, said that the wind power projects won’t generate electricity for Kyaukphyu, as the township and its Special Economic Zone already has a power plant, as well as receiving electricity from the national grid.

However, he said that all China-backed projects with the regime lack transparency and ignore local communities.

Ko Khin Oo said that that there had been no public consultations over the wind energy projects, or any other China-backed projects, so people are unable to assess whether the projects will be beneficial.

“They [China-regime projects] have never considered the benefits for local communities. Also, they have no transparency. As long as they keep doing that, we have to keep objecting to these Chinese projects,” he said.