India eyes 2 hydel power projects with Myanmar

Written by Anupama Airy | New Delhi, Jul 29 | Updated: Jul 30 2008, 06:14am hrs
After the failure of pipeline politics with Myanmar, New Delhi is once again attempting to woo Yangon, with plans to develop two hydel power projectsthe 1,200-mw Tamanthi and 600-mw Shwzaye power project on the Chindwin river basin.

The projects, expected to cost around Rs 15,000 crore, mean big time investment for the country ranked 132 in the Human Development Index of the United Nations. For India it will be another source of power to feed the Eastern Grid. They will be developed under the joint venture route by NHPC Ltd and the Myanmar government-owned department of hydropower implementation (DHPI). Power from the projects would be exported to India via a proposed transmission link via Manipur Officials told FE that a MoU on hydropower development on the Chindwin river basin has already been readied and is expected to be inked shortly between NHPC and DHPI.

Chairman and managing director NHPC, SK Garg confirmed that the talks in this regard were progressing with the Myanmar government. However, on the issue of project execution, Garg said, The details are yet to be worked out. Modalities in this regard will be decided mutually between the two sides.

Progress on this front is being seen as a big positive in the bilateral ties between the two countries, which had soured after Myanmar decided to withdraw Indias preferential buyer status for gas exports from its two offshore gas fields (A1 and A3 blocks in Shwe project) and instead declared its intent to sell the entire gas from the two blocks to China

Officials said that trade ties with Myanmar received a boost after the visit of its foreign minister U Nyan Win to India in January when various areas of mutual interest were discussed including tie-ups in the field of trade and energy. The current bilateral trade between India and Myanmar stands at nearly $1 billion.

India has recently extended a $124 -million line of credit (LoC) to the Myanmar government for construction of three major power transmission projects and one 120 mw power plant at Thatay Chaung in Myanmar. The power project will be executed by Bharat Heavy Electricals Li mited.