Thailand’s United Power of Asia Pcl said it plans to increase electricity generating capacity in Myanmar’s Dawei Special Economic Zone after the first 20 megawatt (MW) gas-fired power plant started commercial operations two weeks ago.
United Power, formerly known as Cyber Planet Interactive Pcl, was renamed after the company diversified from property and information technology into the energy sector via the acquisition of Andaman Power and Utilities Co Ltd.
Andaman Power has signed a contract with Tanintharyi regional government to supply electricity and develop the gas project in Dawei, the company said in a statement.
The 20-MW power plant at Kanbauk, the first in Dawei special economic zone, is a major step for United Power to expand into the high potential market in Southeast Asia, its Chief Executive, Noppol Milinthanggoon, said.
Andaman Power will build a second power plant with a capacity of 150-200MW and construction is expected to begin soon, Andaman Power Chairman Upakit Pachariyangkun said after signing a contract to seal a deal for United Power to acquire his company for 340 million baht ($10 million).
In the longer term, Andaman Power also plans to negotiate with Myanmar’s government on building a third plant with a capacity of 300MW, Upakit said.
Despite abundant natural gas and hydropower potential, only about 30 percent of Myanmar’s 60 million people have access to electricity, among the lowest rates in Asia.
Thailand and Myanmar governments seized control of the strategically located complex from Italian Thai Development Pcl, Thailand’s leading construction firm, in November 2013 after the project had been stalled for years.
Italian Thai has partnered Rojana Industrial Park to develop the first phase of the project, the Thai government had said. (Reuters)