November 24, 2020
Myanmar is reported to have 570 billion cubic metres worth of natural gas resources.
The Rakhine Offshore BlockA-1/A3 and the Thanbayakan Petrochemical Complex are two examples of Indian interest in Myanmar.
A 20% power loss during the transmission and distribution stages in Myanmar causes a gap in the current demand-supply curve.
Hydropower and gas export are two key areas focused on by the Myanmar Government.
The announcement of a US$ 6bn petroleum refinery project in Thanlyn was among the key highlights of General MM Naravane and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla’s visit to Myanmar on October 6. This bilateral initiative is expected to enable Myanmar to tap into her strengths in energy generation and mineral resources. The nation is currently known to have 570 billion cubic metres worth of natural gas resources that are yet to be optimally tapped.
A Joint Trade Committee led by Sh Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Dr. Than Myint, Union Minister for Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar today reviewed the status quo of current bilateral relations. Both sides affirmed to deepen the scope of bilateral cooperation in the domains of Power and Renewable Energy, Infrastructure, Insurance as well as the Pharmaceutical sector. The representatives also underscored the need to strengthen joint capabilities in petroleum refining as well as the manufacturing of derivatives.
India’s energy-based in Myanmar are chiefly concentrated in the Rakhine Offshore BlockA-1/A3 and the Thanbayakan Petrochemical Complex. Projects are currently being undertaken in cooperation with multiple South East Asian stakeholders including POSCO Daewoo International Corporation (Republic of Korea). Experts at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies identify a 20% power loss during the transmission and distribution stages in Myanmar, leading to a demand-supply gap. The nation’s potential in hydropower generation is nascent, with the government now aggressively taking on knowledge sharing, skilling and retrofitting activities to bridge the demand-supply gap. The infrastructure for gas export from Myanmar is also being put in place with the development of new gas-based power stations.
The BIMSTEC platform is one wherein significant collaboration in the domain of Energy can be taken up. As each member nation has individual strengths in natural gas resources and electricity generation, it will be essential to concretise a mutually beneficial strategy to plug the gaps in supply. With strong multilateral cooperation and the removal of barriers to trade, the energy sector can become a significant asset for the BIMSTEC nations, and most importantly, boost Indo-Myanmar relations.