Myanmar Hydropower


Myanmar enjoys hydropower resources up to 100 GW, concentrating in the rivers including the Irrawaddy River, Salween River, Sittang River and Chindwin River, among which the Irrawaddy River has hydropower resources of about 30 GW and the Salween River of about 20 GW. Its water resources were not distributed evenly in both space and time. As to space, water resources are mainly in north Myanmar, while, as to time, they are concentrated in rainy season. The precipitation in rainy season accounts for about 85% of the annual precipitation.

Development of water resources in Myanmar: 27 HPP have been built with a total installed capacity of 3221MW, accounting for 3.2% theoretical capacity.

Myanmar, with abundant natural resources, is still facing power shortage with its economic and social development restricted. As restricted by distribution of water resources, it is required to adjust such unevenness in time and space during development. Therefore, large-scaled hydropower projects should be developed to adjust the distribution in time by storage of reservoirs, turning the harm into a benefit. In addition, power generated from these projects in north Myanmar can be transmitted to the load center of in south to satisfy the demand of economic and social development and improvement of living standard of people on power.

In conclusion, the explored fossil resources in Myanmar required for thermal power generation are limited and non-renewable. Nuclear Power has to operate with advanced technology and it is restricted by many conditions and requires high cost. In addition, solar and wind power also require high cost. Therefore, hydro power is the optimum choice for energy development in Myanmar. Meanwhile, hydro power will reduce greenhouse gas emission and make a positive contribution to global climate change.