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Myanmar Electricity Sector : A Sinking Ship



U Phyo Min Thein, the Chief Minister of Yangon Region, said that electricity consumption in Yangon will likely to surge in May and stressed that government needs to address the financial losses due to the low price of electricity. Electricity production and distribution is causing financial losses to the government of about K470 billion annually. The price of electricity in Yangon is K35 per unit for household consumers, and K75-K120 per unit for industrial use.

Even though you are required to pay for the electricity you use, it actually costs more to generate the power than what is being charged to the consumer, and the government is left with the tab. The Chief Minister highlighted this point.

He said, “In the electricity sector, the more we use electricity, the more financial losses are incurred by the government, and the government is left to make up the difference. If we are relying heavily on state funds to produce electricity, it is not good for long term sustainable development,’’ he said.

The previous administration tried to raise the price of electricity, but stopped their plans after facing protests, but the Chief Minister made it clear that the “current” situation is not sustainable.

U Phyo Min Thein added, “Although the electricity consumption rate is stable, it will surge in May. People will use their air conditioning more during the summer heat, and the frenzied construction activities will also suck more power from the grid. The country’s annual electricity consumption rate is 3,000 megawatts, 50 percent of which is consumed by Yangon.