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Green Earth Plans $275 Million Solar Power Project in Myanmar

Green Earth Power (Thailand) Co. Ltd., a privately-held company in Thailand, plans to invest about $275 million on a new solar power project in Myanmar.

The facility, located in Minbu city, 500 kilometers (311 miles) north of Yangon, will have generating capacity of 210 megawatts, Supasit Skontanarak, Green Earth’s managing director, said by phone from Bangkok today. The project will be completed within two years, he said.

President Thein Sein, who took office two years ago, is clearing the way for overseas investment in Myanmar to help speed modernization of its financial system and infrastructure ahead of elections in 2015. U.S. and European companies including Ford Motor Co., Coca-Cola Co. and Unilever NV are scouting for opportunities in Myanmar after the Southeast Asian nation began enhancing economic and political ties with Western nations.

“Myanmar has tremendous potential as large population and investment inflows increase the development need for basic infrastructure including electricity-generating facilities,” said Supasit.

Green Earth plans to finance 70 percent of the project with bank loans, said Supasit, whose family holds the Bangkok-based company’s majority stake. The company is in talks with Thai and overseas lenders, he said.

Green Earth signed a memorandum of understanding with Myanmar’s Ministry of Electric Power last week to develop the project, said Supasit. The new plants will sell electricity to the Myanmar government for 30 years, he said.

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