Myanmar reinstates study for proposed 6,000-MW Myitsone hydroelectric project

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Myanmar reinstates study for proposed 6,000-MW Myitsone hydroelectric project

The Myanmar government and its President Htin Kyaw have formed a commission to examine the 6,000 MW Myitsone hydropower project proposed for Kachin, Myanmar.

The hydroelectric power project is located at the confluence of the Mali and N’mai rivers and the source of the Irawaddy River in Burma. The project is a joint venture between China Power Investment Corp.Myanmar’s Ministry of Electric Power (MOEP) and Asia World Co.

The project is scheduled to be completed by 2017. Once operational, it will be the fifteenth largest hydroelectric power station in the world. It is expected that the Chinese province of Yunnan will use the energy from the facility under the project's original agreement.

The Myanmar Electrical Power Enterprise and the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation developed the “Irawaddy Myitsone Dam Multipurpose Water Utilization Project” in 2001, and the consultation phase was initiated in 2003.

The dam project has been controversial in Burma due to its enormous flooding area, environmental impacts, location 60 miles from the Sagaing fault line, and uneven share of electricity output between the two countries. The Burmese public regards the Irrawaddy River as the birthplace of Burmese civilization, to many Burmese the project represents growing Chinese influence in Burma

Finally, the project was canceled on 30th September 2011 by the Thein Sein regime and the decision was universally acclaimed by environmentalists, political activists and the locals.

The newly-signed order stipulates the commission must review the project to be developed in accordance with international and local laws related to environmental conservation. The first report from the commission is expected to be submitted to the Myanmar government on 11 November.

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