Prolonged power blackouts and soaring fuel prices in Myanmar are hitting people in cities hard and increasing uncertainty for the country’s businesses, according to interviews with people in Yangon and elsewhere in the country.
Fourteen months on from the military takeover, many ordinary people are struggling to pay for basic necessities.
Japanese energy company Eneos is the latest player to pull out of Myanmar’s upstream oil and gas industry, announcing on Friday that it was exiting the producing Yetagun gas project in response to “social issues”, amid criticism that the project’s revenues are flowing to the nation’s military junta.
Thai energy company PTTEP has said it will take over the running of Myanmar’s vital Yadana gas field following the withdrawal of global giants Chevron and TotalEnergies in January.
Thai oil and gas giant PTT Exploration and Production Pcl (PTTEP.BK) said on Monday it would take over operations of the Yadana gas field in Myanmar from July following the exit of France’s TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA).
Myanmar is suffering frequent power outages following last year’s military coup and as energy prices rise. The military-controlled electricity and energy ministry says transmission equipment at hydro-power plants has been destroyed by militant forces. The ministry also says some natural gas-fueled power plants have suspended operations because fuel costs have surged.
Frequent electricity shortages, high in fuel oil prices caused increased in fuel oil usage in majority of industries and it led to reduce overtime hour in most of the industries according to industrial committees on March 10.
Residents of Arakan State’s Kyaukphyu Township are demanding a transparent explanation and details on a local power plant project, fearing that the project’s blocking of Kyaukphyu Creek between Ohntaw and Gone Chain villages will damage their farmlands and the larger environment.
The European Union is in a state of flux over its planned fourth round of sanctions on Myanmar’s military junta, with sources saying the targeted measures that were supposed to be announced next Tuesday (February 1) could be delayed until later in February.
Myanmar’s military regime is not pushing enough or not pushing at all the Chinese firms who are contracted to start solar power production, despite the fact that they are several months behind schedule, said critics.