Scheduled Power Outages for Myanmar’s Major Cities

By Zarni Mann 29 April 2019

MANDALAY—The electricity supply boards in Yangon and Mandalay have told the public to prepare for reduced power distribution rates and major power outages due to a reduction in rates of electricity being generated by hydropower stations.

The Mandalay Electricity Supply Corporation (MESC) announced on Sunday that it will cut power to different districts of Mandalay in rotational shifts during which the blackouts will last one hour or more at a time.

“As the power demand is rising in summer [as well as] a lower power supply, the corporation plans to reduce power distribution,” said the MESC announcement.

All six townships in urban Mandalay will experience blackouts for one to two hours daily, and the industrial zone located at the outskirts of the city will experience blackouts in the late evening.

As the scorching summer temperatures have led to reduced water levels in the hydropower dams, electricity production has declined. Meanwhile, power consumption is rising as people need more electricity to cool their homes and workplaces.

“The water levels at the main hydropower dams have dropped to 14 feet (4.3 meters) so power production is declining and we have to reduce the power load,” said U Zarni Aung, Mandalay Region’s minister of electricity and construction.

According to the ministry’s figures, the overall power production from gas turbines and hydropower dams combined is 3,600 megawatts per day, while the demand is currently over 3,800 megawatts. Gas turbines across the country produce about 1,460 megawatts per day, while the hydropower dams produce 2,000 megawatts per day.

Meanwhile, the Yangon Electricity Supply Cooperation (YESC) has also announced that power supply shortages could cause blackouts in the city during peak hours—between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The YESC also stated that the power supply from hydropower dams and natural gas power plants are reducing and plants in Yangon are currently using diesel to generate electricity in an attempt to meet the city’s power needs.

The total power consumption in Mandalay Region is over 600 megawatts per day and in Yangon Region, 1,548 megawatts.