Monday, 22 September 2008 17:59
The Myanmar Times
YANGON – Myanmar has signed an agreement with neighbouring India to build two hydro electricity projects in the northwest of the country, state media reported September 19.
Myanmar’s Hydroelectric Power Department and India’s Hydroelectric Power Corporation Ltd signed the agreement for the construction in Chin state, which borders India, the state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported.
The paper said the agreement called for the building of a 1200-megawatt (MW) dam in Htamanthi and a 600MW dam in Shwesayay.
The deal was reportedly signed on September 16 in the reclusive nation’s administrative capital Nay Pyi Taw during a ceremony attended by Minister for Electric Power Zaw Min and Indian Ambassador Bhaskar Kumar Mitra.
It has come after a series of meetings between the representatives of the two countries followed by the visit of the Minister of State for Power and Commerce, Jairam Ramesh, to Myanmar on June 23 where he firmed up investment plans after his meeting with Lt Gen Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo, secretary of the State Peace and Development Council in Myanmar.
Under the agreement, the Department of Hydropower Implementation (DHPI) with the help of the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation, will jointly develop the two power stations.
“This is a major strategic victory for us. The Chindwin River holds huge hydro power potential and we intend to further strengthen this relationship by going in for other such projects in Myanmar,” Mr Jairam Ramesh said.
Mr Jairam Ramesh said both the parties would form a joint venture company to execute the projects. The Union Government had already extended a line of credit for $60 million for the 111MW Thahtay Chaung power project to be executed by BHEL.
Similarly, credit line agreement between Exim Bank of India and Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank for $64 million has been agreed for financing three major transmission lines to be executed by Power Grid Corporation.
Myanmar and India share a 1300-kilometre (800-mile) border, and the hydro deal is the latest move signalling expanding ties between the two counties.