Sumitomo, MHPS in Burmese power generation deal

Japan’s Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems and Sumitomo are in JICA-led deal to supply Yangon’s Thilawa SEZ with cleaner thermal power.

Myanmar's government has chosen Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS), a Yokohama-headquartered joint venture (JV) formed in February last year between Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Hitachi, and Sumitomo Corporation, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management, for its Thilawa special economic zone (SEZ).

This power generation deal is part of a series of contracts derived from a first public-private partnership signed between Japan and Myanmar governments in April last year and private groups from both countries' private sectors. Sumitomo is part of a consortium named Myanmar Japan Thilawa Development, a joint venture comprising Mitsubishi, Sumitomo and Marubeni corporations (MJTD) which has been developing the 396-hectare 'class A area' SEZ due to open in the middle of this year.

“As power supply is crucial for stable daily lives and business activities, the development of electric power facilities in Thilawa area is in urgent need in view of the economic boom in the future, which has so far been lagging behind in this area as compared with the center of Yangon City,” announced Japan Investment Coordinating Agency, who is acting on behalf of the Japanese state, in a statement.

The JV last Friday received orders for two sets of H-25 turbine and generators with a combined output of 50 megawatts (MW) for two islands of thermal power generation facilities to empower the Thilawa special economic zone under way South of Yangon, Myanmar's largest city.

Delivery will be made to Sumitomo, the project's engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company, and operation is scheduled to commence in March and June next year for the first and second units, respectively.

MHPS has been tasked with the manufacture and the delivery of the equipment, and will be sending a team of engineers to advise on installations.

The high efficiency H-25 turbines are said to be adhering to the tight Burmese mandates of environmentally friendly power generation technology as well as a capacity which can be increased in a short period of time. The system offers the advantage of providing power from within the zone itself, thus minimising transmission loss, and operating with a reduction of fuel utilisation compared to conventional systems, which translates in strong CO2 level curbs.

The gas turbines replicate a technology currently in operation across various facilities in Japan, China, Korea and Indonesia.