Myanmar’s state power authority, which is battling chronic electricity shortages, plans to begin work shortly on the nation’s first coal-fired power station. The Myanma Electric Power Enterprise will build the 120mw plant at Pinlaung township in the southern part of Shan State. “The power station is expected to start generating electricity in 2003,” said Department of Electric Power director-general Thein Tun. The facility, built with machinery imported from Myanmar’s main foreign backer China, is expected to use 500,000 tons of coal a year sourced from a nearby reserve of nearly 21 million tons. The reserve will give the power station an operating life of about 40 years, and that there were plans to build another power station at the site, depending on the availability of coal. Exploration was taking place for new deposits in the area.