$80m upgrade for Myanmar’s electric network

25 Nov 15

Myanmar’s electricity transmission network is to get an $80m upgrade, the Asian Development Bank has announced.

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Yangon, Myanmar at night

Yangon, Myanmar at night

 

The ADB will loan Myanmar the funds to fix its “aging and overloaded transmission network” as the country prepares for a period of rapid economic growth. Myanmar’s economy is expected to grow by 7.8% per year over the next decade and the demand for power is expected to rise more than 9% annually through to 2030.

Bui Duy Thanh, senior energy economist at ADB’s Southeast Asia Department, said Myanmar’s network needs “urgent improvements to provide stable and ample supplies of power to support the country’s economic growth targets and poverty reduction objectives”.

“Yangon [Myanmar’s capital city] plays a central role as an economic hub for the country and this assistance will help the government ensure reliable power supplies are provided to the city and surrounding areas,” he said.

The ADB’s concessional loan will be complemented by £3.3m provided by the government. The project will run over three years and is expected to be completed in 2019.

Myanmar recently elected Aung San Suu Kyi, long-time democracy campaigner and leader of the National League for Democracy, ending half a century of military dominance in the country. News of a $162 infrastructure boost from the ADB was announced the same week.

When Myanmar’s junta ceded power to a semi-civilian government in 2011, a reform drive opened the country up to tourism and delivered record foreign investment and improvements in key sectors of the economy.

It is expected that Suu Kyi’s willingness to open the country and her clean image are likely to spark an even bigger boom foreign investment in Myanmar.

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