Wed 31 Oct 2007
Filed under: Business / Trade,News
Dhaka:Bangladesh is likely to give up the idea of developing and importing power from Burma given the high cost and security concerns, according to a report of Bangladesh press.
“Bangladesh may drop the idea to import power from Myanmar due to security [in the] region,” the press report stated.
Experts in Bangladesh also feel that the estimated price tag of two billion US dollars to set up hydroelectric power plants in Burma may be too high.
“It would be difficult to set up a power grid through the hills and forest areas. More difficult would be the job of monitoring and maintenance of the grid in difficult terrain,” an expert said.
Many also believe that the money that would be required for the project would bring more benefit to Bangladesh if it is utilized within the country.
Bangladesh agreed to invest in hydroelectric power plants in Burma’s Arakan State two months ago, after the Burmese military government had invited Bangladesh to develop a hydropower plant in the country.
The two neighbouring countries also agreed to look into the possibility of carrying out a feasibility study on developing hydropower plants in Arakan State, but the plan has been dropped for unknown reasons.
Burma’s military regime has invited Bangladesh to invest in potential hydroelectricity development on some rivers in Arakan State near the Bangladesh border, but the rivers have been found to have low potential. The Mi-Chung could produce an estimated 100 megawatts of power, while the Sang-Don has a potential for just 80 megawatts, according to the press report.
According to a study, the Lemro River has potential for up to 400 to 600 MW, but the location is very far from Bangladesh .
During the last visit to Burma , a Bangladesh delegation discussed with Burmese power officials the possibility of conducting a feasibility study on setting up hydropower plants in western Burma and importing electricity from there.
Bangladesh and Burmese teams will meet on November 12 2007, to discuss several bilateral issues, but there is no information yet as to whether the teams will again be discussing the development of hydropower plants.