Puma and PTT left standing in race for refinery

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Two firms are still competing for the rights to join Myanmar Petrochemical Enterprise in refitting for the Thanlyin Refinery Joint Venture Project, according to a statement.

Although about 20 international companies had initially signaled interest in the project, only four submitted proposals. The list has now been narrowed to two, PTT and Puma Energy, which meet the general requirements to proceed, a December 24 announcement said.

“The tender evaluation and selection committee will conduct a general evaluation on rules and requirements for these two companies with the deposit of a US$4 million bid bond,” said MPE managing director Daw Hla Hla Kyi. The bond is to last for nine months.

The other two companies that did not pass to the next round are Itemitsu Kosan from Japan and Omni Focus from Myanmar. Omni Focus belongs to U Aye Ne Win and U Kyaw Ne Win, grandsons of former dictator Ne Win. The pair made headlines early this year after claims they had purchased 60 percent of Asia Green Development Bank from business tycoon U Tay Za.

Daw Hla Hla Kyi said the details of the two proposals from Puma and PTT will now be closely examined.

The dated Thanlyin refinery has a capacity of 20,000 barrels per day, and is run by MPE, though its production rates are in decline.

The Ministry of Energy has been looking to rehabilitate the refinery since last year through a joint venture with a private company.

The selected international company will be invited to join MPE in a venture to rehabilitate the refinery, as well as undertaking importation, distribution and storage of a range of products, according to the announcement.

“We expect to finalise the process in 2015, around August or September,” said Daw Hla Hla Kyi.

Applicants are required to have at least three consecutive years of management experience at a refinery facility with total production of at least 500,000 barrels per day, as well as a minimum three years’ experience running crude oil import, distribution and storage businesses with capacity of at least 20 million barrels annually.

Thailand state-owned PTT and Singapore-based Puma Energy are two of the more prominent investors vying for Myanmar energy projects.

PTT already has upstream production projects in the country, while Puma last year won a tender for oil storage at Thilawa special economic zone and two weeks ago received the rights to partner in distributing jet fuel.


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