A gas-fired power plant in south-eastern Victoria, Australia. At least two similar plants are currently being built in Myanmar. Photo: EPA
A combined-cycle gas power plant in Thaketa Township will begin operations as scheduled in the first quarter of 2018, according to a statement released by General Electric (GE) earlier this month.
The plant will be powered by GE’s renowned F-class gas turbines, producing 106 megawatts of energy when complete in 2018. A joint venture between China and Myanmar, the plant is currently being constructed by China’s SEPCOIII Electric Power Construction Corp.
SEPCOIII will use GE’s 6F.03 gas turbines for the combined-cycle system. A combined-cycle power plant uses both a gas and a steam turbine together to produce up to 50 percent more electricity from the same fuel than a traditional simple-cycle plant. The waste heat from the gas turbine is routed to the nearby steam turbine, which generates extra power.
Importantly, the Thaketa plant will be complete after power consumption in Myanmar has tripled over the last decade and as demand for power is estimated to increase by about 15 percent annually, exceeding available supply.
Yangon, which consumes around two thirds of the power produced nationally, will benefit the most from the new plant, which is located east of the city and around 25km from the Thilawa Special Economic Zone.
“The plant will play a major role in fulfilling the energy requirements of Myanmar and it will supply electricity to businesses in Yangon, which consumes 52pc of the electricity produced in Myanmar. We hope to participate in the places which will produce benefits for Myanmar citizens by using GE technology,” said the SEPCOIII’s plant’s project director Zhang Yushi.
The Thaketa project is a joint venture between China’s Union Resources and Engineering Co (UREC) and Myanmar’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE). A memorandum of understanding for the project was first signed in January 2013 and a subsequent agreement inked in November 2014.The JV received an operating license in January 2016.
“The power generated by combining the engineering, procurement and construction skills of SEPCOIII with GE’s technology will be linked to the main transmission line,” said Dong Fan, project managing director of UREC.
The Thaketa plant is GE’s third energy project in Myanmar in 20 months. GE also supplied turbines to a World Bank-funded power station in Thahton as well as a 225-MW gas-fired power plant in Myingyan, Mandalay. The latter is being developed by Singapore’s Sembcorp Industries under a build-operate-transfer agreement with the MOEE.
“GE is cooperating with the Ministry of Electricity and Energy to solve the energy requirement challenges of Myanmar,” said Andrew Lee, Chief country representative of GE Myanmar.