10 Dec 2019

Kha Laing microgrid project, Myanmar

1,100 people expected to receive first-time 24/7 access to electricity through the Kha Laing microgrid polot project in Myanmar's Magway region

The project is part of the pilot phase of the rural electrification services project that InfraCo Asia and Electricite de France (EDF) are developing with local partner SolaRiseSys. Prioritising commercial viability, the pilot project will utilise the Anchor-Business-Community (ABC) model to provide first-time, affordable and reliable access to energy to approximately 1,100 people in Kha Laing village.

InfraCo Asia – part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), EDF and local partner SolaRiseSys, with the support of developer team ICM, held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the future Kha Laing Microgrid project on 27 November 2019.

The Kha Laing Microgrid project is part of the pilot phase to develop and build hybrid solar microgrids in rural Myanmar as announced at the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony between partners, EDF, ICM – as InfraCo Asia’s developer team, and SolaRiseSys, held on 7 October 2019 in Nay Pyi Taw. The pilot project in Kha Laing village will comprise the construction of approximately 43kW hybrid solar-diesel microgrid with battery storage components which is expected to give first-time, 24/7 access to clean energy to 276 households or 1,100 people. The project will not be government-subsidised, unlike the majority of off-grid solar projects in Myanmar which are facing challenges of long-term profitability. Through their partnership, InfraCo Asia, EDF and SolaRiseSys aim to establish a commercially viable model of rural electrification using the AnchorBusiness-Community (ABC) model whereby the project will supply energy to a telecom tower (Anchor), local businesses (Business), as well as for community use and public utilities (Community). If the ABC model is proven commercially viable in the pilot phase, the partners look to replicate it by rolling out microgrids across multiple sites in rural Myanmar. The project builds on InfraCo Asia and ICM’s positive working relationship with the Magway government and Myanmar’s Department for Rural Development (DRD). InfraCo Asia and its developer team, ICM, with the support of the Magway government, are pioneering the development of Myanmar’s first utility-scale wind power project in Magway region with the aim of deploying wind power as a viable energy source for sustaining the country’s long-term growth.

InfraCo Asia CEO Allard Nooy said, “InfraCo Asia aims to serve as a catalyst for future development in Myanmar’s rural electrification sector through its involvement in the Kha Laing Microgrid pilot project.” InfraCo Asia’s Myanmar Programme is supported by:
“Working collaboratively with InfraCo Asia’s developer team, ICM, the partnership that we have established with EDF and local partner SolaRiseSys puts us well on our way to achieving this goal. With EDF’s extensive portfolio of decentralised electricity generation systems and SolaRiseSys’s experience with the implementation and operation of existing rural, microgrid projects in Myanmar, we are well-positioned to demonstrate the commercial viability of the Anchor-Business-Model (ABC) model, which will inspire other
firms to invest in the development of the country’s rural electrification services.”

ICM Managing Director Yanis Boudjouher added, “Through the Kha Laing Microgrid pilot project, we have brought together the expertise and willpower needed to create a replicable model that is designed to create sustained, long-term benefit for the people of Myanmar. As InfraCo Asia’s contracted developer for Myanmar, ICM is grateful for the trust and support from our local partner, SolaRiseSys, and international partner, EDF, together with the Magway Chief Minister and his government.”

As a global utility company and a leader in low-carbon electricity solutions, EDF’s ties to Myanmar include the ongoing development of the 670 MW Shweli-3 hydropower project in the northern Shan state.

EDF Director of Business Development (Asia) Yacine Chouabia said, “EDF wants to contribute to the electrification of Myanmar and microgrids are one affordable and sustainable way to give its remote villages reliable access to electricity. As a major global player in decentralised electricity generation systems, our experience and expertise in developing and operating microgrids will be beneficial to Myanmar.”

A well-established player in Myanmar’s solar microgrid industry, SolaRiseSys (SRS) has built and operated dozens of solar microgrid projects in Myanmar to date.

SolaRiseSys Managing Director U Kyaw Min Tun added, “We are excited to mark the beginning of our partnership, as we are making a very positive step that will strengthen the rural electrification programme in Myanmar”

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