The International Finance Corporation is working to boost to deployment of hydropower plants in Myanmar.
It has launched the Hydropower Developers’ Working Group in the country in a bid to engage the private sector in the adoption of hydropower.
“The facts cannot be igno red – around 34 million people still do not have access to electricity,” said Vikram Kumar, IFC Country Manager for Myanmar. “Hydropower, if done sustainably, could help people improve their daily lives throughout the country.”
The Washington-headquartered IFC states that with extensive river systems running throughout the country, hydropower has the potential to be an important source for electricity.
“With the multitude of potential environmental and social impacts that often plague hydropower projects, the IFC recognizes that the private sector would benefit from coordinated activities and to be provided with the tools and approaches to ensure development is based on good industry practices and international standards.”
Aung Zaw Naing, president of the working group, said that “it can be challenging for companies searching for information or seeking to build relationships with government authorities and stakeholders”.
He added that the working group was “an opportunity for the private sector to make an impact. We encourage all hydropower companies that want to improve environmental and social standards in Myanmar and their business operations to join our initiative.”
Kate Lazarus, team leader for the IFC’s hydro advisory programme, added that “there’s a growing interest among hydropower developers to establish the working group in Nepal and Pakistan too”.