Malaysian companies Mudajaya Group and IJM Corp are moving into the power business in Myanmar (formerly Burma).
Together they will invest £750m to build two new power plants in a country where large areas have no electricity supply.
Under the first phase, a coal-fired plant will be built in Mandalay, with construction starting in the second half of 2014 and reaching completion in 2016. It will provide 500MW to the Mandalay region.
The second plant will be solar-powered and will be built in another region at a later stage to be determined by the company.
Aziz Rahman, a Mudajaya spokesman in Kuala Lumpur, said construction has to be in phases because of the high market risk involved in Myanmar.
Mandalay is 715km north of the capital, Yangon, and is the second largest city in Myanmar, with a population of 1.2 million. Despite being the country’s economic hub, more than 65 per cent of the city does not have power.
Mudajay and IJM will set up a new company to undertake the construction and management of the project. Mudajaya will hold 70 per cent stake while the remaining 30 per cent will be held by IJM. The entire funding for the plants will be put up by the two companies.
Myanmar is the largest country in south-east Asia and a resource-wealthy nation but it suffers from pervasive government controls and extreme poverty.
Mudajaya is a power and construction group while IJM is a construction firm.