Saturday, 23 January 2010 00:00
Chinese companies have begun drawing up plans for a mini power grid along the Irrawaddy River in Burma—to transmit electricity north into southwest China.
An outline of the 15-year project has been disclosed in a report published by China’s chief energy planning authority, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
The NDRC and several state enterprises, including China Power Investment Group and China International Engineering Consulting Corporation (CIECC), are involved in the planning.
An assessment report should be completed by the end of this year, the director of electricity at CIECC, Zhou Jiachong, says in the state magazine China Investment.
Agreements signed in 2009 between these companies and the Burmese military government for hydroelectric development along the Irrawaddy would have a combined electricity generating capacity of 21,000 megawatts, said Zhou.
That’s more than two-thirds of the entire capacity of next-door Thailand.
“Myanmar is a smaller country with less population relative to China. Most of the electricity generated cannot be consumed domestically. So for Chinese companies, they have to consider power transmission back to China when developing Myanmar’s hydro-power resources,” said Zhou.
In fact, Burma has one of the world’s worst electricity generating capacities—a mere 1,700 megawatts for a population of around 50 million. continue