Kyaukphyu SEZ plan nears finish as ‘mud volcano’ causes move

The developers behind Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone plan to release the master plan at the end of June, even as a “mud volcano” has forced some of the project to move, according to officials.

Singaporean firm CPG was selected in March to be the lead consultant on the project. Kyaukphyu is slated to eventually include an industrial zone, residential areas and a deep-sea port in Rakhine State – near significant work in the oil and gas industry.

U Than Maung, a member of the SEZ’s bid evaluation awarding committee (BEAC), said the master plan should be completed this month, with a tender process to begin development starting up in July.

“We are planning to hold an international tender, planning to evaluate the developers and award contracts before 2015,” he said.

The SEZ also had to shift some of its facilities’ planned locations in light of a discovered mud volcano near the Danyawadi naval base on the site.

“We don’t exactly know where the project will be moved to yet,” said U Phoe Cho, executive director of Golden Land Development Public Company. “As far as I know the deep sea port won’t move.”

The SEZ was originally set to be located in the eastern part of Kyaukphyu township, sitting on over 100,000 acres. Even though the mud volcano appears to have little potential to cause damage, U Phoe Cho said it is difficult to get insurance for the site, forcing the move of some of the project.

U Maung Maung Thein, vice president of the Kyaukphyu SEZ project committee said it will be different from Thilawa and Dawei as it will focus on business-to-business interactions rather than relying on inter-government decisions.

Electricity is currently a major requirement for the SEZ.

Officials have not said if the project will require the relocation of villages and land. Much of the land has long been zoned for industrial and deep port use, though of the 1000 acres about 40 acres are used for villages and farming.

“We will protect developers and investors from being involved in the ethnic conflicts in Rakhine state,” said U Myint Thein, BEAC vice president and deputy railway minister.

The Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone plans to begin its operations with an initial investment of K227 million.

Source: Myanmar Times

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