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New solar tender

The Electric Power Generation Enterprise (EPGE) under the Ministry of Electricity and Energy published, on 24 May 2021, an invitation to bid to develop and operate solar power plants with a 20-year concession on a build-operate-own basis.

Tender documents can be purchased from EPGE for a fee of MMK300,000 (approximately USD185) and need to be submitted by 11 August 2021.

It has been almost exactly a year since the last solar tender process kicked off, with eventually 29 bidders successfully bidding on a combined generating capacity of approximately 1GW. Tight completion deadlines were a feature of the solar tender with successful bidders having a mere 15 days to agree on the PPA after which the developer had 180 days before the plant was to commence commercial operation.

Tariffs for last year’s bid were between U.S. 3.48 cents per kWh to U.S. 5.1 cents.

To our knowledge, none of the previous winning bidders have or are close to commencing commercial operation, nor has it been publicly announced whether any of the PPAs have been signed. Although, according to EPGE last year’s successful bidders have not pulled out and the new tender is not intended as a replacement for last year’s tender.

If the tender follows last years model, then there will be a number of points which bidders will need to keep in mind which were issues raised previously:

  • land will need to be secured at the time of submitting the proposal;

  • there may be a compressed construction timeline, the previous tender required commencement of commercial operations within 180 days;

  • subject to satisfying technical specifications and qualifications, the winner may be decided on price alone;

  • a performance bond may be required; and

  • the purchaser of the tender documents may be the party required to submit the bid. It might prove difficult to change consortium members later.

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