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July 16, 2007

Neighbours join hands to develop hydropower
Myanmar and Bangladesh are enhancing cooperation in developing hydropower, seeking to build hydropower plants in Myanmar, according to local industries on July 16.

Officials from Bangladesh's Power Development Board and Power Grid Company, who have visited Myanmar recently, have discussed with Myanmar power authorities exploration of feasible sites for building such plants in Myanmar to seek export of electricity to Bangladesh.

The exploration has identified potential sites for the plants in two states in western and northwestern parts of the country, local reports said.

In this regard, Bangladesh's Power Development Board has said that the identified potential sites for the planned hydropower plants are in Michaung and Lemro areas of Rakhine state and near ethnic Naga Hills in Chin state.

The Bangladeshi power authorities also revealed that it would also seek funds from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank for the prospective projects that would export electricity to Bangladesh in the future.

Meanwhile, a giant Myanmar-Thai joint venture hydropower project, which is the 7,110-megawatt (mw) Tar-hsan hydropower project, is being implemented on the Thanlwin River in eastern Shan state's Tachilek. The US$6-billion hydropower project, which started in last April, is one of the two signed with Thai companies during the past two years.

The Tar-hsan project, which can produce 35.446 billion kilowatt hours (kwh) a year, is implemented by the Myanmar Hydropower Implementation Department of the Ministry of Electric Power and the MDX Group Co Ltd of Thailand.

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