Japanese electric utilities Chugoku, Shikoku tap Myanmar market

18, May. 2019

YANGON, NNA - Japanese utilities Chugoku Electric Power Co. and Shikoku Electric Power Co. will invest in the operator of a gas-fired power plant in Myanmar in a bid to cash in on growing electricity demand in the emerging Southeast Asian economy.

The two regional utilities in western Japan said Thursday they have sealed a deal on the acquisition of a 28.5 percent stake each in the operator of the Yangon plant via their subsidiaries, marking their first investments in Myanmar.

The total transaction value is estimated at $85 million.

A Chugoku Electric spokesman declined to comment on the transaction value while a Shikoku Electric spokesman confirmed their portion of the purchase would cost between 4 billion yen ($36 million) and 5 billion yen.

Major Thai engineering company TTCL Public Co. will hold the remaining 43 percent stake in Toyo Thai Power Myanmar Co., the operator.

Under the project, the Ahlone thermal power plant, which began operation in 2013 with an installed capacity of 121,000 kilowatts, is supplying electricity to Electric Power Generation Enterprise under the Ministry of Electricity and Energy for a term of 30 years till 2043.

The Japanese regional power companies said they will provide expertise in operation and maintenance and expect to gain long-term stable investment revenue.

In Myanmar, electricity demand is forecast to grow to 14.5 million kilowatts in 2030 from 2.8 million kilowatts in 2016. Last year, hydropower generation accounted for about 70 percent of the country's total electricity output, according to the ministry.

Chugoku Electric has invested in coal, hydro, gas and wind power generation projects in Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and the United States.

Shikoku Electric also has participated in power projects in Chile, Qatar and Oman. (NNA/Kyodo)