The ‘secret’ behind many power cuts
In July, Myanmar’s Ministry of Electric Power (MEP) issued a regulation requiring every new apartment construction project that consumes 30 kilowatts of electricity or more to install transformers, which are essential to changing AC voltages from one voltage level to another within power networks.
However, the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) has not followed up by adopting new rules regarding the installation of transformers in new apartment buildings. Local media reported that discussions between the two departments are ongoing.
Put simply, the lack of transformers as well as a lack of maintenance is often what causes power cuts in Yangon, rather than an actual shortage of electricity. Anyone that has been near an exploding transformer can testify that the sound is so powerful it almost causes a reverberation – not to mention that it’s highly dangerous and undesirable.
MEP’s existing regulations are inadequate for providing roundthe-clock electricity, which is why instead of requiring apartments with more than 18 units to install a transformer, MEP recently suggested that this be extended to any buildings that use at least 30KW and have more than four electricity meters. Constructions firms have voiced their opposition to the proposal, citing possible loss of profits. A single transformer costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and some of the largest can serve a 100 kilometre radius.
With household consumption of electricity in Myanmar rising by around 30 percent each year, the Ministry of Electric Power recognises the need to upgrade and expand the network of existing transformers. In August it announced that new transformers will be installed in a wide variety of townships spanning Taunggyi, Myawaddy, Kalay, Thaketa and Oakshipin, Kut Khai, Tai Nin, Phalum, Kotkarate, Mintone, Minkin, Loutkai, Phasaung, Ma Li, Saw, Minpyar, Kanma, Chaungzone and Phayar Gone (Zartapyin).
Such news is welcomed not only by residents, but by potential suppliers – one of whom attended last week’s Green Energy Summit.
Mahanum Adelin MD Adnan is assistant manager of sales and marketing at Malaysia Transformers, which is a subsidiary of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB). TNB was set up as Malaysia’s Central Electricity Board in 1949 and it remains the country’s largest electricity utility provider and has more than 33,000 employees. In 2007, Malaysia Transformer became a wholly owned subsidiary of TNB and Ms Adelin said that TNB is keen to make inroads into emerging markets and is focusing on the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa regions.
“We’re keen to do more business in Southeast Asia. Though we acknowledge that China and India supply a lot of transformers to Myanmar, we know that our prices are competitive and our quality standards are very high. Many of the transformers used in Myanmar are from China and the quality is
Mahanum Adelin MD Adnan, assistant manager of sales and marketing at Malaysia Transformers. Photo: Jessica Mudditt