“A small hydropower project is being built near Nantpanga Creek in Homalin Township, Sagaing Region at a cost of K 24 billion,” said Sagaing Regional Minister for Electricity, Technical, Road and Communications U Than Nyunt Win.
The regional minister made the remark during a meeting with local people held at the City Hall in Sagaing on 28 June. “In an attempt to supply adequate electricity to some villages in Homalin Township, we embarked on the implementation of a mini hydropower project. The regional government allocated K 6 billion this year. The project will take 18 months and is expected to cost about K 24 billion,” the minister explained. A feasibility study into the possibility of the project and an assessment of the potential for power generation were conducted in the fiscal year 2017-2018. K 347.504 million has been spent on conducting the feasibility study and drawing up a design of the project, he said.
In addition, the regional government signed an agreement with the Central Chain Power Grid (CCPG) Co., to extend Nabar sub-power station, build new sub-power stations in Shwebo and Ohntaw, and construct the 180-mile long Nabar-Shwebo-Ohntaw transmission line to be able to distribute sufficient electricity to some areas in the region. The project is worth around US$ 133,470, he added, saying power supply tasks are being undertaken in the region by using 3,362 sub-power stations, three hydropower plants and 39 diesel-fired generators.
The Shwebo-Myitkyina Road that connects the Sagaing Region and Kachin State is being extended to 18 ft. from the current 12 ft. this fiscal year. The Shwebo-Myitkyina Road is crucial to transport goods to and from between Sagaing Region and Kachin State and plays a vital role in better flow of commodities. Extension for 40-mile and one furlong road section is being undertaken this financial year and the project has been about 62 per cent finished. The road was built in the fiscal year 1962-1963 and it was upgraded to a 12 ft. wide road on 18 September 1996, according to the Department of Road under the Ministry of Construction.
A sugar mill which is under construction by the Myanmar Sugar Development Public Company Ltd in Sagargon Village, Katha Township in Sagaing Region will start trial operations in the late 2019. The mill is being set up on 100 acres of land and will produce sugar as well generate electricity and is expected to come into operation on a trial basis in December 2019. “We are trying our best to be able to start operating the sugar mill on a trial basis in December 2019. Now construction of the sugar mill is about 50 per cent complete,” said U Nyi Khin, Chairman of the Myanmar Sugar Development Public Company Ltd. The project will also include an ethanol plant with the capacity to produce up to 35,000 tons per day as well as up to 100 tons of fertilizer.
Some equipment, entrances to the sugar mill and staff housing have already been built. Arrangements have been made to create an internationally standard sugar mill since 2012 but the project was started in 2018 because the project needed both financial and technical assistance, he added. “So we invited a foreign company to jointly invest in the project because we couldn’t afford to move forward the project on a self-reliant basis. We contacted an Indian company from Singapore. The company withdrew its plan to invest in the project due to various reasons. The huge sugar demand from China saw a boost in sugarcane plantation. We are encouraged as Myanmar is an agro-based country,” he said.
The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) gave a green light for the project and K 5 billion loans for construction of the sugar mill has been borrowed from the Myanma Economic Bank. The sugarcane crushing capacity at the mill is about 1,000 tons per day during trial operations. After trial operation period, the sugarcane crushing capacity will be increased to around 3,000 tons per day. High quality sugarcane species capable of producing better yield were imported from foreign countries to be grown in Myanmar. Presently, about 1,500 acres of quality sugarcane are planted near the project area.