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Japan to provid emergency turbines for Burma blackout

Burma will acquire three large gas turbines from Japan in addition to buying a dozen heavy-duty generators from the United States and Singapore in an emergency effort to meet citizens’ pleas for more electricity in Rangoon, Mandalay and other cities.
Protestors walk past Sule Pagoda, Rangoon, on Thursday, May 24, 2012, holding candles in a symbolic gesture against electricity cuts in Rangoon, Mandalay and other cities. Photo: Mizzima / Lynn Bo Bo
The agreement to hire three 120-megawatt gas turbines from Japan was signed on the sidelines of an international conference on the future of Asia held in Tokyo when Myanmar Minister of Industry Soe Thein explained to Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano and Minister of Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba about Burma's electricity shortage, said the New Light of Myanmar, a state-run newspaper, on Monday.

Candle-light demonstrations against the country's power cuts have taken place since May 20 in Thongkua, Mandalay, Monywa, Bago, Pyay, Rangoon and Pathein. Demonstrators say the government sells electricity to China while its own citizens go without power.

In the wake of the week-long peaceful demonstrations, the authorities have taken urgent measures to ease the power crisis by ordering 12 heavy-duty generators of 300 to 500 KVA and two gas turbinesfrom the United States' Caterpillar Co. and General Electric Co, as well as from Singapore.

Some of the generators have reportedly arrived in Burma and are being distributed to Rangoon, Mandalay, Pyay to be put into use to ease the power crisis.

On the other hand, efforts to repair the bombed Ruili-Mansan power grid towers are underway but are not expected to be completed until the end of May or the beginning of June. The government said the towers were bombed by the Kachin Independence Army.

Since late April, due to a insufficient supply of electricity in the country, the electric power authority has rationed industrial zones, factories and workshops from using electricity except during a six hour period at night to enable an alternative supply of power for public use when such use is at a peak between 5 to 11 p.m.

According to the Ministry of Electric Power-2 , due to an increase in the number of electric power users and state-owned and private factories and workshops, the nationwide demand has hit 1,890 megawatts against an actual supply of 1,500 mw.
Last Updated ( Monday, 28 May 2012 13:39 )  

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