SPCG Public Company Limited, a Thai main board stock exchange (SET) listed solar plant developer, intends to build off-grid solar plants to supply electricity to Myanmar's rural populations. Each plant would have a capacity of less than 2 MW and cost 7-14 million baht (~ US$233,000 - US$467,000).
Myanmar is falling short of electricity supply demand. Only 2,500 MW is available for the 55-million population. According to the Asian Development Bank, of the 40 million people living in rural areas, only 16% has access to grid power. The majority of the rural population depends on diesel generators.
Myanmar lacks small solar plants to serve rural communities. Investors from large economies such as China, India and Japan are keen to develop big projects. SPCG saw an opportunity to develop small plants to provide power in the short term. It expects to develop a mixture of renewable energy projects, such as solar plants with mini-hydropower plants, to take advantage of Myanmar's vast water resources. Wind power is also a possibility.
SPCG has eyed two potential locations, with the first project likely to be in Mandalay or Yangon. The company has secured prospective partners in Myanmar already, with a plan to set up a joint-venture company in the second half of this year. Construction will start in 2014.