September 22, 2020 Read More →

Rushed land deals, quick delivery send most Myanmar solar tenders to Chinese companies

China Dialogue:

When bids were opened in Myanmar’s 1.06 gigawatt solar power tender on 9 September, a few names were repeated over and over: Sungrow Power Supply Co Ltd and China Mechanical Engineering Corporation, State Power Investment Corporation, China Gezhouba Group and Xian Longi Clean Energy Co Ltd.

In the end, all but one of the winning bids for the 30 sites involved Chinese companies. The winners were decided based on price alone from among those that passed the technical criteria. Sungrow claimed nine sites and CMEC eight, while the most successful Myanmar firms were Shwe Taung Group and Khaing Lon Gems, which both worked with Chinese partners.

Chinese firms may not have huge experience in foreign solar markets, according to Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies at the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), but “China has been the world’s largest investor domestically in solar every year since overtaking Germany at the start of the decade. And it is not like a solar project is a complex engineering feat,” he said.

He added that smaller, modular renewables projects such as solar farms “tend to bring competitive tension and transparency, all but squeezing out the endemic corruption evident in major traditional fossil fuel power projects.” However, “this lack of bidder diversity is far from ideal for Myanmar in terms of building capacity for subsequent, even lower cost, renewable energy tenders.”

[Kyaw Ye Lynn, Thomas Kean]


More: Chinese companies dominate Myanmar solar tender

Posted in: IEEFA In the News

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