Gov­ern­ment courts ADB for power-line fund­ing

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - SWAN YE HTUT swanye­htut@mm­

After shun­ning a Chi­nese loan, the gov­ern­ment is hop­ing to use Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank fi­nanc­ing to res­ur­rect a project to build a power line from Mawlamyine to Dawei.

THE gov­ern­ment is hop­ing to use Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank fi­nanc­ing to res­ur­rect a project to build a power line from Mawlamyine to Dawei, the Union min­is­ter for elec­tric­ity and en­ergy has said.

The min­istry is in ne­go­ti­a­tions with the ADB to help fund the 230 kilo­volt power trans­mis­sion line and ac­com­pa­ny­ing sub-sta­tion, ac­cord­ing to min­is­ter U Pe Zin Tun. The line will run from Mawlamyine to Dawei pass­ing through Ye in south­ern Mon State.

U Pe Zin Tun made the state­ment to the Amyotha Hlut­taw on July 29 in re­sponse to a ques­tion from rep­re­sen­ta­tive U Myo Win (NLD; Mon 8) as to whether the project, which was promised by the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment, would be restarted.

U San Yu, as­sis­tant per­ma­nent sec­re­tary for elec­tric­ity, told The Myan­mar Times the project failed to hap­pen un­der the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Loans from Exim Bank of China with a 2 per­cent in­ter­est rate were to have fi­nanced the project un­der the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment, U Pe Zin Tun said. But the new ad­min­is­tra­tion has de­cided that this would be too ex­pen­sive, and has ap­proached the ADB for cheaper fund­ing, he told par­lia­ment.

The pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment had es­ti­mated an Exim-funded project would cost a to­tal of US$180 mil­lion. The new Min­istry of Plan­ning and Fi­nance, how­ever, has cal­cu­lated that the project should cost $103.4 mil­lion based on in­ter­est-free fund­ing, ac­cord­ing to U Pe Zin Tun.

The project will be im­ple­mented when ne­go­ti­a­tions with the ADB have fin­ished, he said.

ADB coun­try di­rec­tor Win­fried Wick­lein said in an email yes­ter­day that he could not com­ment on in­ter­nal pro­cesses.

“Suf­fice to note that en­ergy is a core sec­tor for ADB as­sis­tance to Myan­mar, and that we are work­ing to pro­vide sup­port, through the long term, to the gov­ern­ment for power net­work de­vel­op­ment,” he said.

The de­vel­op­ment bank ap­proved fi­nanc­ing for a dis­tri­bu­tion im­prove­ment project in 2013 and a trans­mis­sion project in 2015, and is now work­ing with the gov­ern­ment to de­velop a series of ad­di­tional power net­work de­vel­op­ment projects, he added.

“More­over, ADB, through its pri­vate sec­tor win­dow, has been work­ing with the pri­vate sec­tor to in­crease the coun­try’s power gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity.”

– Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Steve Gil­more, trans­la­tion by San Layy

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