Southeast Asian Conglomerates To Pump US$30 Million Into Renewable Projects In Myanmar

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Only 40 per cent of Myanmar’s rural population has access to grid power. The joint venture by Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic Holdings and the energy platform of Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corporation aims to boost access to electricity.

Two Southeast Asian business conglomerates have teamed up to invest at least US$30 million in renewable energy projects in Myanmar, which has one the region’s lowest rates of access to grid electricity.

Myanmar-focused Yoma Strategic Holdings, which is listed on the Singapore stock exchange, will form a 50:50 joint venture with AC Energy, the energy arm of Ayala Corporation of the Philippines, to drive the growth of Yoma Micro Power.

Together, they want to develop about 200 megawatts of renewable energy projects in Myanmar, including participation in large utility-scale projects.

Myanmar, an emerging economy in Southeast Asia, has one of the world’s lowest per capita electricity consumption. Each of its 53 million people consumed only 0.3 MWh of electricity in 2017—or 3 per cent of the 9.2MWh that an average person in Singapore consumed, according to the International Energy Agency.

The country suffers from chronic power shortages with only 40 per cent of its rural population having access to the national grid. It currently derives its electricity from hydropower (70 per cent), natural gas (28 per cent) and coal (2 per cent), and the government has projected that solar energy will supply up to 5 per cent of its electricity by 2030.

The World Bank expects electricity consumption in Myanmar to grow at an average rate of 11 per cent a year until 2030—the year its government aims to achieve full electrification—and estimates that around US$2 billion of investment per year is required.

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