French to help finance Myanmar’s hydropower upgrades

Yeywa-Hydro Myanmar, Yeywa Hydropower Station (Photo - SinoHydro)

01 May 19 - Source: Myanmar Times - Myanmar is set to receive a €35.7 million (K60.2 billion) loan from the French Development Agency (AFD) to upgrade to five hydropower plants, President U Win Myint said in a message to the Assembly of the Union (Pyidaungsu Hluttaw).

The term of the loan is for 13 years, with a seven-year grace period, at an interest rate of 0.68 percent, said Deputy Minister of Planning and Finance U Maung Maung Win.

The funds are expected to be used between this year and 2024 for heavy maintenance work and upgrades to the Ye Nwe, Mone Chaung, Zaung Tu, Kinda, and Thaphan Seik hydropower plants. After the upgrades, the plants are expected to be able to run at full capacity, raising power generation from 565 million kilowatt hours to 646 million kilowatt hours.

Due to the lack of heavy maintenance in the past, the plants had experienced some breakdowns Deputy Minister of Electricity and Energy U Tun Naing told the hluttaw.

"The five plants have been operating for between 10 and 30 years. As little heavy maintenance was performed in the past, there have been frequent faults in turbines, generators and control centres. So the need to upgrade the plants is pressing," U Tun Naing said.

Of the total loan, €5.4million will be allocated to the Ye Nwe plant, €16.4millionto Zaung Tu, €2.4million to Kinda, € 6.5millions to Thaphan Seik, and €3.3million to Mone Chaung. The rest of the funds, some €1.7million will be used to hire a project consultant, he said.

The amount of foreign debt taken on by the Ministry of Electricity and Energy until last December 31, totals US$6202.36 million, with US$3026.79 million still outstanding, said U Maung Maung Win.

Separately, the Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation has requested approval to accept a 1.45 billion baht (K68.7 billion) loan from the Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency of Thailand.

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