Minister promises no blackouts next summer
TREDGING out an annual promise that never seems to be realised, the minister for electricity has promised no more blackouts for the summer of 2017.
U Pe Zin Tun, Union minister for electricity and energy, told the Pyithu Hluttaw on September 2 that preparations are already under way to generate adequate power supply to compensate for when the mercury rises in 2017.
The minister was responding to a question from lower house MP U Nay Myo Htet (NLD; Kyauktada) about government plans to stave off the yearly shortages of water and electricity that plague the country’s cities every hot season.
“We have arranged to provide a total power supply of 390 megawatts per day in the summer. That should ensure adequate electricity supply and no more blackouts in the summer of 2017,” said the union minister.
Last year, 246MW were produced daily in hot season, according to the ministry. But consumption soared to 300MW per day over March, April and May.
To account for the coming summer’s additional power demands, the ministry anticipates it will rely on a patchwork of sources, generating 25MW from the number 2 Thilawa power plant, 45MW from a steam turbine at the Mawlamyine power plant project and 300MW from private power companies based in Yangon Region. An additional 20MW is expected from the Myintthar Hydropower Project being implemented by Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation.
The total power generated should exceed the demand, the minister said.
He added that power shortages last year were also caused by natural disasters. The national gridline was taken out of commission 10 times last summer by weather conditions.
To prevent further power failures, the ministry has replaced old and tangled cables and malfunctioning transformers across all regions and states, he added.
The country’s total electricity consumption last summer exceeded 2730MW, while all power stations generated 2450MW combined, according to authorities.
The country’s commercial capital, Yangon, is responsible for more than half of the national electricity demand.
– Translation by Zar Zar Soe