Yan­gon sees trans­form­ers as so­lu­tion to power woes

De­vel­op­ers will be re­quired to in­stall trans­form­ers to power any new build­ings that use more than 30 kilo­watts of elec­tric­ity.

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - MYAT NYEIN AYE my­at­nyeinaye@mm­times.com

DE­VEL­OP­ERS in Yan­gon will have to in­stall trans­form­ers to power new build­ings that use more than 30 kilo­watts of elec­tric­ity, ac­cord­ing to Yan­gon’s elec­tric­ity sup­plier, which is hop­ing the mea­sure will help re­duce fre­quent black­outs across the city.

In an Au­gust 12 an­nounce­ment Yan­gon Elec­tric­ity Sup­ply Cor­po­ra­tion said all de­vel­op­ers ap­ply­ing for a Build­ing Com­ple­tion Cer­tifi­cate from Yan­gon City De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee will need to check whether they are re­quired to in­stall a pri­vate trans­former to sup­ply ad­di­tional power.

The new rule does not ap­ply to build­ings that are al­ready in use. It was first sug­gested by the Min­istry of Elec­tric Power last year, but was de­layed as YCDC con­sid­ered its po­ten­tial im­pact on de­vel­op­ers and on the pub­lic.

A YESC spokesper­son said yes­ter­day that the new pol­icy is nec­es­sary be­cause the cost of pro­vid­ing elec­tric­ity to Yan­gon is ris­ing fast, due to ur­ban­i­sa­tion and a con­struc­tion boom driven by the prom­ise of eco­nomic re­form.

How­ever, con­trac­tor U Yan Aung be­lieves the mea­sures are too strict. He said 30KW of elec­tric­ity is enough to sup­ply an eight-floor build­ing, mean­ing that most new projects in the city will need to pro­vide their own power.

A 10KV trans­former costs at least K3 mil­lion, and de­vel­op­ers of build­ings with lifts and other fa­cil­i­ties will have to pay much more, he said.

“The big­ger the build­ing, the more ex­pen­sive it will be to pro­vide power, which means con­trac­tors are likely to choose low-qual­ity trans­form­ers. This will have a neg­a­tive im­pact on res­i­dents,” he said.

Past elec­tric­ity poli­cies were good on pa­per, but were not fol­lowed by of­fi­cials or de­vel­op­ers, he said. He be­lieves this is the rea­son the govern­ment has tight­ened the rules, but said that com­pa­nies will suf­fer.

“We have lost a lot of time ap­ply­ing for build­ing per­mits stepby-step and now if we have to build trans­form­ers it will cost a lot of money,” he said.

YESC also an­nounced last week that it aims to in­crease power dis­tri­bu­tion to Myan­mar’s largest city to 1400 megawatts by next year.

Gen­eral man­ager U Thant Zin said last week that the elec­tric­ity sup­plier is mind­ful of a pe­riod of re­cur­rent black­outs in the city ear­lier this year, which tested the pa­tience of a pub­lic that has en­dured power short­ages for decades.

The black­outs came in April as peak de­mand pushed the grid in Yan­gon past the 1250MW it is ca­pa­ble of pro­vid­ing to the city.

“We ad­mit, frankly, that we are not per­form­ing per­fectly, be­cause we do not have enough money to be per­fect,” U Thant Zin said.

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