Hydropower dam Irrawaddy River (MM)

The Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems (DWIR) which is a part of the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (MOTM) has asked SBE to conduct a feasibility study concerning a pilot project on dam construction on the Irrawaddy River. This pilot project is part of a master plan of integrated water management on the Irrawaddy river which has to result in enhanced navigation, flood control, the production of hydropower and improved irrigation, all of this with maximal respect for environmental and social welfare.

The country is faced with frequent floods during heavy rainfall in the monsoon season and drought during dry season. Additionally, blackouts are a well-known problem in Myanmar due to a shortage of electricity. All of these issues can be remedied with several hydropower dams along the Irrawaddy.

Out of four locations  on the river section between Mandalay and Aunglan, which were indicated by the client, SBE had to select the most favorable location for a pilot project. This was done based on an multi-criteria analysis. Items as impact on floods, land-use and the technical feasibility were considered.

SBE performed the following services:

  • Considerations on the current navigability and the existing fleet
  • Analysis of the Irrawaddy valley’s geology and natural hazards (earthquakes,…)
  • Mathematical hydrological 1-D model of a 400km river stretch
  • Modelling of the impact of a dam on water levels
  • Turbine selection for the hydropower plant and generated output
  • High-level social and environmental impact analysis
  • Multi-criteria analysis for site selection
  • Concept design of all components of the hydropower dam, construction phasing and cost estimate