By Khine Kyaw
Naypyitaw Circular Road, Naypyidaw, Mandalay, Myanmar, August 2, 2015
While Myanmar has planned to increase the input of coal-fired power plants in a bid to meet the surging demand, the civil society has raised environmental concerns over the implementation of such plants, according to the 3rd Myanmar Power Summit, a business seminar organised by the Centre for Management Technology.
Htun Naing Aung, joint secretary general of Myanmar Industries Association and chairman of Energy & Environmental Group, told the conference on Wednesday that implementation of coal-fired power plants is an undesirable solution for the nation’s power sector.
According to the Ministry of Electric Power, about 35 per cent of power generation is expected to come from coal-fired power plants in 2030, which is nearly double than the present time.
“This could be very controversial because our country recently announced the national energy policy which favours the use of renewable energy and our natural resources. In that point, coal does not match to our national energy management policy. I would like to advise the Ministry not to choose coal,” said Htun Naing Aung.
He added that during an energy forum held in Singapore last November, he did not receive any positive comments from the experts around the world to use coal-fired power plants in Myanmar. He said that their concerns included lack of coal reserves, environmental point of view, and the civil society’s concerns on the impacts of the coal-fired power plants.
“We should not follow the mistakes of other countries. Like in China, people are suffering from coal-fired power plants. The cheapest solution for the country is the use of natural gas. However, we know about the situation that most of our gases have been sold out to other countries,” he said.
Currently, the Ministry of Electric Power has signed memorandum of understanding with different foreign firms to implement 11 coal-fired power plants across the country. Yet, the projects have yet to commence due to public objection.