Power Augmentation, an Immediate Solution to Increase Myanmar’s MW output

An excerpt from the Mizzima News article states, “Urgent need for power plants around Yangon”; Projects need to be undertaken as soon as possible because only about 25% of the country is currently connected to the grid. Myanmar has begun mapping out development plans and investment opportunities to boost the country’s electricity supply and distribution."

Logically, in order to bridge the gap between demand and supply, when financial resources are limited and demand is pressing, it is imperative to look for options which are less capital intensive than new capacity, and could be implemented in a shorter time frame.

One answer is Power Augmentation technology (HAI for Humid Air Injection and DAI for Dry Air Injection). This add on system has the primary benefit of increasing the power of combustion turbine/combined cycle (CT/CC) power plants by 15-30% at a fraction of new plant cost with coincidental significant heat rate reductions (10-15%) and NOx emissions reductions [1].

Rehabilitation and Modernization (R&M)

Considering Naypyidaw doesn't want to wait, the government wants to fix its power grid and refurbish its antiquated power plants as soon as possible, hoping to forestall an electricity shortage this summer. Simple repairs on generation equipment, such as swapping out a gas turbine, can take at least 10 months including part manufacturing and shipping, says Japan's Hitachi Ltd., which made some of the original equipment for the Tharkayta plant.  Experts estimate older equipment and infrastructure currently result in about 40% of generated power not reaching its ultimate destination due to both techincal and non-technical losses. 

In 2010, electricity production in Myanmar was approximately 7.5 Billion kWh. Of that, approximately 30% of all generation was natural gas [2]. If you were to increase power output of every existing natural gas turbine in Myanmar by even 10%, an additional 225 million kWh becomes available to the grid without installing any new production capacity. 

Optimization of existing installed capacity to maximize generation through Rehabilitation and Modernization (R&M) can be an attractive, low-cost option to boost grid MW output.  In this case, boosted power output would ease a percentage of Myanmar’s electrical shortages in less than 18 months.

Capital Assets Recovery

If a 500 MW CC plant operates at 92% load factor, capital value associated with the unused generation are not utilized. The AI technology allows the combined cycle power plant to operate at full load with full utilization of capital assets. [3].

Typical combined cycle power plants operate at 93-95% load factor to meet the spinning reserve requirements; i.e. 5-7% of valuable capital cost and operational assets are not being effectively used.

Application of AI Power Augmentation technology can increase the combined cycle power plant output by 10-15%, allowing users to run CTs at full load and at design point efficiency.

Low Cost MW Efficiency Gains

Humid and dry air injection represents a relatively low-cost technology for increasing gas turbine power output and for reducing heat rate over a wide range of ambient temperatures and part-load operating conditions [4].

As the Mizzima article stated, Marubeni's strategic plan will start by fixing the Tharkayta power plant and three similar facilities. They will replace turbines and other key equipment, as the Myanmar government is advocating less-expensive repairs and parts replacement [5]. 

Efficiently upgrading combustion turbines with Power Augmentation solves the two main constraints in the power grid for the Myanmar government: lowering capital costs of upgrades and maintaining shorter implementation times.

Installation of Power Augmentation technology is relatively simple, and requires little capital relative to the cost of the CT. The unit pays for itself relatively quickly and can be installed on new or existing CTs.

Deputy Minister for Electric Power, Aung Than Oo in a statement said, “We know that electricity is a major challenge for our country. We have to consider five essential needs – land, electricity, roads, telecommunications and water – when foreign investors are coming.  We are trying to find ways to create a 24-hour electricity supply to develop our country."

We offer you a solution to Myanmar’s Immediate Electrical Generation Needs without installing new turbines: Power Augmentation

We would like to meet with you, to help solve part of your power shortages?

Co-Collaboration: Written by David DuByne, Edited by David Schainker


[1.] The Air Injection Power Augmentation Technology Provides Additional Significant Operational Benefits (PDF) Proceedings of GT2007 ASME Turbo Expo 2007: Power for Land, Sea and Air May 2007, Montreal, Canada.

[2.] Electricity Production of Myanmar, World Development Index, World Bank. Accessed January 8, 2013. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EG.ELC.PROD.KH.

[3.] Power Augmentation using Air Injection, an Alternative solution to Peak Power Demands—using the large installed base of existing GT & CC power plants (PDF) Electric Power 2007 Conference

[4.] Air Injected Power Augmentation Validated by Fr7FA Peaker Tests (PDF) Gas Turbine World, March-April 2002

[5.] Urgent need for power plants around Rangoon, Mandalay.  Mizzima News, May 29, 2012

About the writers:

David Schainker provides technical consulting and translation services focused on renewable and energy storage developments in countries seeking to increase their grid efficiency. He is part of a network of engineers to advise government organizations, electric utilities, electric grid operators, investors and equipment manufacturers on cost-effective renewable and energy storage projects. He can be contacted at david [ a t ] schainker.net

David DuByne analyzes and advises on social issues, economic trends focusing on food and fuel in Asia. Specializing in the feasibility of food bearing biofuel plants for reforestation to produce biodiesel, and Gravitational Vortex Power (GVP), which allows remote villages to create power themselves, arranging a power grid locally below 1MW.  He can be contacted at ddubyne [ a t ] oilseedcrops.org.