Crude oil brought by ship from the Middle East will be stored at oil tanks on Madae Island in Kyaukpyu Township prior to sending it to China through the recently constructed pipeline, according to a Rakhine State minister.
Large 100,000-ton oil tankers will moor at Kyaukpyu Deep Sea Port as of January 2015, Rakhine State Minister for Forestry and Mining U Kyaw Khin told Mizzima on December 23, using the oil tanks of the China National Petroleum Corporation for storage.
“China needs crude oil while the Myanmar government will benefit from [fees charged for] the storage of the oil and the use of the pipeline,” he said.
Oil tankers will arrive at the island at least three times a month.
Some local people have expressed concern over the possible danger to the environment and oil spills.
“The project may benefit the government but cause difficulties for local fishermen. The local authorities have not responded to concerns about responsibility for accidents,” U Tun Kyi, a local resident on Madae Island said.
The Minister for Energy and Rakhine State Chief Minister U Maung Maung Ohn met with local people in Kyaukpyu on December 21 but reportedly did no clearly address the issues of possible accidents and pollution.
Arrangements have been made to send crude oil from the CNPC Company tanks to China along a pipeline that runs parallel to the natural gas pipeline that will deliver gas from the Shwe block off the Rakhine coast.
According to Lower House MP U Aung Mya Kyaw of Sittwe Township, the government has an arrangement to deal with any oil spills as part of the agreement.
About 450,000 barrels of oil maximum will be sent to China per year. Myanmar will have the use of one tenth of it, Deputy Minister for Energy U Aung Htoo told local people on December 21.
Shwe gas activists noted in a report in 2013 that the Myanmar government will make US$54 billion from the pipelines over a period of 30 years.