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Burma ‘Energy Poor’ Despite Vast Resources

28 November 2012

Burma has vast energy resources but decades of under-investment have caused power supply to fall short of domestic needs, an Asian Development Bank report said on Tuesday. Burma is “an extreme example of ‘energy poverty’” and only one in four citizens has electricity. Two-thirds of all energy comes from burning firewood, charcoal and animal dung, which puts households at risk of “acute respiratory diseases and high mortality/morbidity rates.” Yet Burma’s reserves—estimated at 2 million tons of coal, 447 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, 206 million barrels of oil and hydropower potential of 100,000 megawatt—could be developed with the right policies, foreign expertise and an influx of capital.