Myanmar will promptly implement some six hydropower projects as priority scattered in the country's Shan and Kachin states to increase electricity production to help meet the country's power demand.
According to the Ministry of Electric Power Friday, the six hydropower projects on which the government has placed special emphasis with the prompt implementation are Shweli-1 (600 megawatts or mw) , Shweli-2 (460 mw), Shweli-3 (360 mw), Tarpein-1 (240 mw), Tarpein-2 (168 mw) and Upper Thanlwin (2,400 mw) among others which have been under construction.
Of the projects, the Shweli-1, which lies on the Shweli River in Namhkam, northern Shan state, has been half-completed, the sources said.
The Shweli-2 and Shweli-3 are located in Momeik, Shan state while the Tarpein-1 and Tarpein-2 in Momauk, Kachin state and the Upper Thanlwin in Kunlong, northern Shan state.
The Upper Thanlwin hydropower project is the latest on which a memorandum of understanding on the implementation was signed early this month between the Myanmar ministry's Hydropower Implementation Department and the Farsighted Investment Group Co Ltd and Gold Water Resources Ltd of China.
Meanwhile, during the past two years, Myanmar signed two hydropower project contracts with Thai companies successively -- the 600-mw Hutgyi on the Thanlwin River in eastern Kayin state with the EGAT Public Company and the 7,110-mw Tar-hsan on the same river in eastern Shan state with the MDX Group Co Ltd of Thailand. The Tar-hsan also involves shares of Ratchaburi Co and Chkarnchang Co of Thailand and the China Gezhouba Water and Power Group Co Ltd.
The 6-billion-US-dollar Tar-hsan hydropower project, which is 52.8 kilometers west of Mongtong, Shan state and can produce 35. 446 billion kwh a year, reportedly began implementation early this month.
The two projects constitute part of those on Thanlwin and Tanintharyi River agreed in June 2005 by the two countries.
Myanmar is also currently implementing over a dozen other hydropower projects in the country's Mandalay, Bago, Shan, Kayin and Rakhine divisions and states. They include Yeywa (790 mw), Kunchaung (60 mw), Pyuchaung (40 mw), Khabaung (30 mw), Shwegyin ( 75 mw), Kengtawng (54 mw) and Thahtay (102 mw), according to the ministry.
Plans are underway to build more hydropower plants which include Kawgata (160 mw), Bilin (280 mw), Hatkyi (600 mw), Shwesayay (660 mw), Manipura (380 mw), Tanintharyi (600 mw) and Maykha (800 mw).
According to official statistics, Myanmar had a total of over 1, 775 mw of installed generating capacity of electric power as of September 2006, up from 706.82 mw in 1988 when there were only 24 power plants in the country, of which 14 were hydropower ones.
After 1988, Myanmar has so far built 39 new power plants, in which 30 are hydropower ones.
The statistics also show that the country's electric power generation was registered at 6.014 billion kilowatt-hours (kwh) in 2005-06, up from 2.2 billion units in 1988-89. The power generation for the first half (April-September) of 2006-07 was 3. 153 billion kwh.