Trans­former rule sparks con­trac­tor com­plaints

The Myanmar Times - - Business - MYAT NYEIN AYE my­at­nyeinaye@mm­

THE Yangon Re­gion govern­ment is re­con­sid­er­ing a new pol­icy that would re­quire con­trac­tors to in­stall trans­form­ers in the vast ma­jor­ity of new build­ings, fol­low­ing com­plaints that it will push up the cost of apart­ments for home buy­ers.

U Nay Win, deputy di­rec­tor of the En­gi­neer­ing Depart­ment (Build­ing) at Yangon City Devel­op­ment Com­mit­tee, said that con­trac­tors’ com­plaints had been con­sid­ered at a re­gion govern­ment meet­ing last week.

“We dis­cussed con­trac­tors’ re­quests that they shouldn’t be re­spon­si­ble for in­stalling trans­form­ers,” U Nay Win said. “At the meet­ing, Yangon Chief Min­is­ter U Phyo Min Thein agreed they shouldn’t have to, but it hasn’t been de­cided whether to change the rule.”

The Yangon Elec­tric­ity Sup­ply Cor­po­ra­tion (YESC) an­nounced in Au­gust that de­vel­op­ers ap­ply­ing for a Build­ing Com­ple­tion Cer­tifi­cate from YCDC have to make sure they have in­stalled trans­form­ers if the build­ing uses more than 30 kilo­watts. YESC is hop­ing that more trans­form­ers in­stalled across the city will help re­duce the fre­quency of black­outs.

Un­der the pre­vi­ous rule, trans­form­ers were only re­quired on build­ings of eight or more floors. But a build­ing with just three apart­ments or more is likely to hit the 30KW thresh­old, said U Nay Win.

Con­trac­tors say that tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for in­stalling trans­form­ers in the vast ma­jor­ity of new projects means they will have to charge buy­ers higher prices. A group of Yangon con­tac­tors sent a joint let­ter to the Yangon Re­gion govern­ment in Oc­to­ber out­lin­ing their con­cerns.

U Nay Win said there had been much dis­cus­sion be­tween YCDC and the re­gion govern­ment on the prob­lem. One al­ter­na­tive is to have YESC take re­spon­si­bil­ity for in­stalling the trans­form­ers and have con­trac­tors pay more to­wards in­stalling elec­tric­ity me­ters, he said.

“But no de­ci­sion has been made yet and we go­ing to think about whether that would be ef­fec­tive,” he said.

Some con­trac­tors work­ing on new projects have al­ready stumped up for the in­stal­la­tion of trans­form­ers. One con­trac­tor, who asked to re­main anony­mous, said he had paid an spent an ad­di­tional K25 mil­lion on in­stalling a trans­former for a 17-unit project.

“So I need to sell the apart­ments for more in or­der to com­pen­sate for the higher bud­get,” he said. “But if I can’t do that, I’ll lose money.”

Photo: Aung Khant

Power sup­ply is a se­ri­ous chal­lenge in Yangon.

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