Trading houses Marubeni, Sumitomo Corp. and Mitsui & Co. will build a liquefied natural gas-fired power plant in Myanmar, one of the biggest investments by Japanese companies in the Southeast Asian country, people familiar with the matter say.
The three companies estimate total investment in the project at $1.5B to $2B. The plant is expected to start operating by 2025 with a capacity equal to about 20% of Myanmar’s existing power plants.
Demand for LNG power is expected to grow in Southeast Asia as a low-emission alternative to cheap coal. Marubeni, Sumitomo, and Mitsui expect the project in Myanmar to help them expand their power businesses in the region.
In Myanmar, electricity demand has been growing at a rate of 10% to 20% a year with industrialization and the electrification of farming villages. Frequent power outages have posed an obstacle to the country’s goal of attracting foreign investment in manufacturing.
The plant will be built in a suburb of Yangon, Myanmar’s commercial capital and most populous city. The three companies will operate it through a joint venture they will establish with Eden Group, a local conglomerate whose businesses include real estate and agriculture.
The plant will have a generating capacity of 1,250 megawatts — about as much as one nuclear reactor. Myanmar’s existing power generation capacity is about 6,000 megawatts, according to the country’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy.