12 Jan 2021

Kha Laing Microgrid pilot connects 1,200 people in Myanmar’s Magway Region, providing first-time, 24/7 access to electricity

InfraCo Asia and Electricité de France (EDF), through InfraCo Asia’s contracted developer team ICM and local partner SolaRiseSys, successfully delivered the Kha Laing Microgrid project into commercial operations in January 2021.

The Kha Laing Microgrid project is the first mini-grid in Myanmar to be funded without government subsidies, and aims to demonstrate a commercially viable Anchor-Business Community (ABC) model of rural electrification in Myanmar. The operating project, comprising a 43kW hybrid solar-diesel microgrid with battery storage components, supplies energy to a telecommunications tower as the primary customer (Anchor), two local community centres (Businesses), and 276 households (Community).

Through a dedicated e-payment system, households are able to monitor and manage their energy use, as well as purchase electricity at an affordable rate via their mobile phones.

U Htay Naing, Chairman of the Village Electrification Committee said “Kha Laing village is far from the national grid. Before this project, we relied on candles, solar home systems (SHS) and diesel generators and our nights were difficult. With this solar mini-grid system, we can switch on the light whenever we want with less cost, and without having pollution or noise.”

U Win Kying, Kha Laing’s Village Administrator added “With 24/7 access to electricity, living conditions and business opportunities are improved. Women are able to set up grocery shops in their house, and sell goods that require refrigeration. Before this project, villagers had to travel to Yaynanma village, which is 5 miles away.”

“While it has been a particularly challenging time for project implementation – determination, perseverance and collaboration from all the teams prevailed in the end. I am very proud of what we have accomplished together and very happy that the village community will receive this essential service,” said Kyaw Min Tun, Managing Director and Founder of SolaRiseSys.

Yanis Boudjouher, Managing Director of ICM added “I would like to thank the Magway Region government and our teams, working across Myanmar and Singapore, for their tireless efforts and commitment towards this project, which has enabled its safe and successful implementation for the benefit of the community.”

In December 2020, PIDG company InfraCo Asia, through ICM, also made a second donation of supplies including personal protective equipment and medical equipment, to help local hospitals and villages combat the second wave of COVID-19 infections in Myanmar. Following the success of the pilot, the project’s joint venture partners are exploring plans to replicate the project’s success across other sites in rural Myanmar.

“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. By demonstrating the commercial viability of the Anchor-Business-Community (ABC) model, we hope to inspire greater private sector investment in the provision of sustainable, rural electrification services across Myanmar,” said Allard Nooy, Chief Executive Officer of InfraCo Asia, a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) company.

“Myanmar represents many opportunities for the development of micro-grid solutions with our local partners. EDF is capitalising on its extensive expertise in rural electrification at the service of remote or isolated populations who are not connected to the grid. We are very enthusiastic about this project, which is part of EDF’s ambition to support Myanmar in the development of low carbon energy solutions, such as the Shweli 3 hydroelectric power plant project in the country,” said Jean-Philippe Buisson, Senior Vice President of EDF in Asia.

This article was originally published on infracoasia.com on 12 January 2021.

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