Just one private company currently has the right to generate and distribute electricity in Mon State’s Ye township, with any other business engaged in the operations doing so illegally, a minister told the state hluttaw on December 11.The township’s electricity distribution became a contentious matter after area farmers began protesting land seizures allegedly by a private electricity company installed utility poles and extended cables through their paddy fields. The farmers said earlier this month that they were not provided compensation for the damages.
U Min Htin Aung Han, Mon State’s Minister of Electricity, Energy and Industry, said only Myat Thura (Kalargyi) Company holds an official license for producing and distributing private electricity in Ye township, which is not connected to the national grid. Three other companies – Myat Thura Company, Southeast General Energy and Power Co., Ltd (SEGEP) and Southern Myanmar Develop Co., Ltd – have signed preliminary memorandums of understanding, but need to conduct further assessments before their projects can be implemented, he added.
“The state government signed the MOUs because it agreed on principle. The EIAs [environmental impact assessments] still need to assess the [impact of] construction of transmission lines and placement of the machines,” U Min Htin Aung Han said. “The state’s electricity supervisory board will issue the distribution licenses only after everything meets the standards. None of the distributions occurring in the villages are admissible if we strictly follow the electricity law.”
The minister was responding to a question raised by the State Hluttaw Legal Affairs Committee’s chair Daw Khine Khine Lei on whether or not the private power distribution companies in Ye township hold licenses.
She added that companies only have the right to install utility poles after receiving licenses from the government.