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.
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.