Myanmar’s Electric Power Generation Enterprise extends Magwe gas-to-power plant tender deadline

Construction News Myanmar
Farmers work in a field in Magwe Region. Photo: The Myanmar Times

Myanmar’s Electric Power Generation Enterprise extends Magwe gas-to-power plant tender deadline

Myanmar’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy has extended the deadline of a gas-to-power plant tender to next week.

On April 28, the ministry’s Electric Power Generation Enterprise (EPGE) announced a tender for a 12 megawatt gas-powered plant in Magwe on a build-operate-own basis.

The gas plant, situated in Kyaw township, is now inviting bids until June 16. The original deadline was May 27.

Magwe Region currently has two hydropower plants in Mone and Kyo Ohn Wa, a solar plant in Minbu and a 66MW gas-fired plant in Magwe township.

The bid submission date change was issued to potential bidders via a letter seen by this newspaper. The letter was dated May 29 and signed by EPGE managing director U Than Naing Oo.

On the same day, the EPGE rejected requests from prospective bidders for a 1GW solar tender to extend its one-month deadline, before reversing the decision last week and pushing the deadline to mid-July.

The deadline extensions reflect the problem in the way energy projects are tendered. The solar farm tender was issued on May 18 with tough conditions, land acquisition evidence requirements and a one-month window for bidders to apply amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has restricted travel and mobility. The announcement triggered a slew of complaints from business groups, solar plant developers and embassies.

But controversies over what investors see as an impossible tender schedules are not new.

Last year, in an attempt to end power cuts, the ministry rushed through an emergency tender for five gas and LNG plants giving bidders a month to submit bids. That timeline, coupled with a seven-month implementation deadline, came under fire for being unrealistic. As expected by the industry, none of the five projects were launched by the ministry’s April 2020 deadline. To date, none have inked a power purchase agreement.

Myanmar’s electricity demand is increasing by 15-19 percent annually, but new generation capacity has trailed demand over the last four years. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s administration is under pressure to speed up energy projects before this year’s parliamentary elections.

The Myanmar Times has contacted the government for comment.