World Bank refuses to fund coal power

Residents oppose a coal-fired power plant project in Mon State. (Photo-Bo Bo Myint/EMG)

The World Bank Group (WBG) says it will not give any financial assistance to coal-fired power plant projects in spite of Myanmar’s increasing need for electricity.

Abdoulaye Seck, the WBG’s country manager for Myanmar, explained that he understood the country was in need of electricity and had sketched a master plan for powering Myanmar but the WBG had no desire to give any financial aid to coal-fuel power stations.

Myo Myint, an energy expert at the WBG, said: “There is still potential for hydropower and gas reserves left untapped. We have yet to explore coal in abundance and those reserves found so far are poor in quality. To my knowledge, we will have to import coal if we set up coal-fuelled power stations which can consume many resources. So I believe we should first try to run on resources at hand.”

The WBG has given a US$140-million interest-free loan for an electrical power project in Mon State in which an old power station in Thaton will be replaced with a combined cycle gas turbine with a 115-megawatt capacity.

It also gave an interest-free US$400-million loan to the National Electrification Project.