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Myanmar Prepares Draft Law On Electricity

The Myanmar Government has released an advance draft of the new Electricity Law (the “Draft Law”), a comprehensive piece of legislation covering licensing, a new regulatory commission, standards, inspection, tariffs and restrictions.

The Draft Law is intended to replace the Electricity Law of 1984, which was amended in 1990. The Draft Law divides projects into “small” (up to 10MW), “medium” (between 10MW to 30MW) and “large” (upwards of 30MW).

A new body, the Electricity Regulatory Commission (ERC), has been created to formulate policy, prepares tariffs, advise the Ministry of Electric Power (MOEP), set standards and forms inspection bodies. The ERC will include nongovernment employees.

Under the Draft Law, states and regions can issue permits for small and medium power plants. In cases where these plants are not connected to the national grid, the Union Government Ministry is not the primary authority involved.

The authorities have a legal right to use land for the purpose of power plants under the Draft Law and have the right to expand and maintain their facilities. The Draft Law also provides that the authorities can build transmission lines in accordance with existing laws.

Importers of electrical equipment must follow the standards and guidance of the rules which will be issued under the Draft Law.

Furthermore, the Draft Law restates and modernises some of the existing law’s provisions on safety and inspection from the original 1984 Electricity Law.