Thursday, September 21, 2017

Power cuts start in Myanmar's industrial zones

Officials in Mandalay last week began cutting power to the city’s industrial zones for seven hours a day.

The cuts, which began on January 10, will allow the Department of Electricity to provide more power during the summer months, when shortages normally occur.

“We have already received promises from proprietors not to work at night. We will cut power from 4pm to 11pm,” a senior official from the Department of Electricity in Mandalay said.

“The cut is to save water. We will generate power only in summer in order to supply power to the public to fully use it in summer,” she said.

Authorities will also monitor small- and medium-sized enterprises in residential quarters to ensure they also abide by the ban and take action against those who flout the rules.

For the time being, electricity will still be provided to residential quarters but the official conceded there could be some short outages. Residents in the city are enjoying an almost 24-hour supply of electricity but cuts are a regular occurrence during the hot season, when output from hydropower dams declines because of low water levels.

Demand for power in the seven townships that make up Mandalay district totals about 200 megawatts, while demand throughout Mandalay Region is 300 megawatts.

The city receives electricity from Takuntaing, Aungpinle, Shwesayan and Myaukpyin substations. To cope with increased demand, officials are examining sites in the south of the city for a new substation.

U Thaung, the owner of a car workshop in a Mandalay industrial zone, said the new policy would not significantly affect most businesses.

“Most businesses don’t operate at night, so it won’t have too much effect,” he said.

Translated by Thit Lwin