Fig. The tariff comparison for both technology types in peaking operation.

The total generation capacity in Myanmar is 4,581MW, of which 3,044MW (66.4%) is from hydropower. Only 33% of the population has access to electricity. Myanmar needs substantially more generating capacity since its socio-economic development is hampered by lack of electricity. Myanmar is mapping a National Electricity Master plan to meet increasing demand, setting its sights on boosting capacity from 4,581MW to over 27,000MW in 2030. Myanmar plans to shift the focus from hydropower to other energy sources, including coal, natural gas, solar, and wind power by 2030.

High reliance on hydropower causes unstable supply, as the storage in reservoirs shrinks during the hot season. The paper proposes an optimum energy mix for Myanmar in line with common practice in developing countries. Flexible internal combustion engines (ICEs) based power plants offer excellent fuel efficiency and reliability. These gas based power plants are quick to respond, efficient and, can make optimum use of available gas. The dual-fuel combustion engine power plants can be optimized to initially run on cheap liquid fuel (HFO or crude oil) and later use natural gas when it’s eventually tapped from the proven reserves of 11Tcf. Such generating units have proved their worth in meeting peaking and reserve requirements and in providing necessary back-up for renewable energy that tends to be intermittent.

The optimal technology for each project must be chosen based on a feasibility study specific to the project. This paper analyzes the life cycle costs of a dual fuel combined cycle gas turbines and ICEs plants separately. Based on the feasibility study, combustion engines based dual fuel plant has lower total life-cycle cost than gas turbine power plant. Total saving in base load operation is 92 Million USD over 4 years of liquid fuel operation and 217 Million USD over project lifetime.

The dual fuel combustion engine plants provide the best possible efficiency on HFO & gas mode, as well as the lowest life cycle costs when compared to gas turbine technologies. Greater efficiency of ICE plants would also allow the same amount of fuel to produce more electricity as gas turbines, thus reducing the impact of restricted gas supplies in Myanmar.

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  M Rajagopalan

   Market Development Director Asia & Middle East
   Wärtsilä Energy Solutions
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