Kyocera serves Myanmar's non-electrified households with solar power

26, Sep. 2019

Micro solcar power grid developed by Kyocera Communication Systems Co. with a local partner in a township in Bago Region, central Myanmar. (Photo courtesy of Kyocera)
Micro solcar power grid developed by Kyocera Communication Systems Co. with a local partner in a township in Bago Region, central Myanmar. (Photo courtesy of Kyocera)

YANGON,NNA - Japanese environmental engineering firm Kyocera Communication Systems Co. is tapping Myanmar's underdeveloped electricity supply market, building micro solar power grids to serve non-electrified villages in the country.

Kyocera Communication Systems Kinetic Myanmar Co., its local joint venture, began operating two power grids this month to serve a total of nearly 1,000 households in Myanmar, the venture's chief operating officer Toru Mikami said in an interview with NNA on Monday.

The joint venture started running its first 96.1 kilowatt-capacity, solar-powered grid in May to supply electricity to about 600 households in a township in Bago Region, where most villagers make a living from livestock farming and rice cultivation.

The off-grid township is around a 10-hour drive from the country's commercial capital Yangon.

The local unit was established in September 2018 with Kinetic Myanmar Technology Co., a major internet and renewable energy service provider, with Kyocera Communication Systems Co. holding a 54 percent stake. It operates a second power grid to provide electricity to 350 households in other townships, Mikami said.

The subsidiary of major Japanese electronic parts maker Kyocera Corp. aims to penetrate the Myanmar market, where the electrification rate is as low as 40 percent, according to the Japan Myanmar Association, an industry body promoting economic and social ties between the two nations.

The Myanmar government is gearing up to improve and extend national grids with Japanese financial assistance while promoting the development of small power grids in remote areas such as mountainous and fishing villages, in which solar power generation is expected to play a big role, according to Mikami.

Under a building, operating, transferring scheme agreed with the government, the local venture imports solar panels and manages the operation and maintenance of power generation facilities.

It plans to carry out an experimental trial of digital payment services via smartphone with the help of state-backed Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications, Mikami said. (NNA/Kyodo)