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Junta juggles with Rangoon power supply

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Authorities are cutting electricity supply to small industries and other establishments in Rangoon Division, as the beleaguered city reels under severe power shortages, a source at the power supply ombudsman’s office said.

The move to deprive small industry from May 14 was designed to alleviate the suffering of Rangoon residents, a staff member at the Electric Power Emergency and Complaints Department in Kyauktada Township told Mizzima.

Power supply was being cut to enterprises including small-scale factories, shopping centres, supermarkets, private clinics and hospitals, he said.

“Since adequate power supply is not yet available, we are discontinuing power supply to small industry in Rangoon Division,” the complaints office staff member said. “They can operate units with their own generators.”

The country’s power demand is about 1,555 Megawatts. One third, or 666.78MW, is used by Rangoon, which has a population of more than four million. Mandalay’s share is 141.64MW and the remaining states and divisions consume 746.83MW. 

But the national generating capacity is only 856MW of which about 300MW is transmitted to Rangoon Division, where there already is regular load shedding, according to official figures.

Since distribution is controlled by the Ministry of Electric Power (2) and is inadequate for the country, many business units and industries have for a long time had to rely on generators of their own. As a result, production and operating costs are spiralling. 

Power cuts in Rangoon are being done on a rotational basis, where an area usually receives electricity for less than six hours a day, the official said.  

The Ministry of Electric Power (1) is responsible for hydroelectric power plants and coal-fired power plants. The Ministry of Electric Power (2) operates gas turbines and is responsible for transmission and distribution.

Last Updated ( Monday, 17 May 2010 23:39 )  

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