Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic Holdings announced today that it has teamed up with the Norwegian Investment Fund (Norfund), a state-owned investment fund, for a $2 million initial investment in micropower plants and mini grids in Myanmar.
The power generation project aims to provide electricity to rural communities with no access to the national power grid and telecommunications towers to be operational in off-grid areas.
Yoma Strategic and Norfund have entered into a joint venture, Yoma Micro Power (S) Pte Ltd, with each holding a 47.5 per cent stake. The rest 5 per cent is held by Alakesh Chetia, former managing director of rural electrification at global renewable energy development firm SunEdison Inc, who will lead the initiative.
A pilot program will start in Sagaing Region, in which Yoma Strategic will contribute $1 million out of the total initial investment committed.
“We hope a successful trial will support our unique proposition to provide reliable and clean energy, in commercially attractive terms to our customers and ourselves, that can be scaled to a large part of the country,” said Melvyn Pun, chief executive officer of Yoma Strategic.
The project will use insights and inputs from Yoma Strategic Holdings’ experience in the telecom tower business and Norfund’s know-how in clean energy.
Myanmar plans to address the electricity shortage issue with its National Electrification Plan developed together with the World Bank and the UN. The plan aims to extend electricity access to 50 per cent of the population by 2020 and 100 per cent by 2030. Only 16 per cent of rural households in Myanmar are connected to the power grid, according to the World Bank.