Dawei megaproject moving closer

The long-delayed development of the Dawei deep-sea port and special economic zone is making progress, with a tripartite Joint High-Level Committee meeting scheduled for next Wednesday in Myanmar to discussmore details.

The meeting also marks a milestone as the Myanmar government is due to sign construction deals with two leading Thai construction companies, Rojana Industrial Park Plc and SET-listed Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD), to develop the first phase of the megaproject.

Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board, said the meeting co-chaired by Deputy Commerce Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula and Myanymar’s vice-president would focus mainly on three issues.

These are Japan’s partnership in Dawei SEZ Development Co (DSEZ), the special-purpose vehicle that will manage the project; a new full-phase master plan for Dawei development; and Japan’s commitment to sponsor the 138-kilometre highway construction linking Thailand’s border with Dawei.

Thailand and Myanmar previously agreed on a comprehensive plan for Dawei development or a full-phase development master plan that called for an industrial estate covering 132 sq km, a deep-sea port that can handle 170 million tonnes of goods and 5 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) a year, a four-lane road linking the Thai border with Dawei, water supply and water treatment, and power plants.

Mr Arkhom said Japan was expected to propose conducting a new full-phase Dawei development plan.
Japan and Dawei’s two founding partners, Thailand and Myanmar, signed a memorandum of intent to hold equal shares in DSEZ on July 4 in Tokyo.

DSEZ replaced ITD, which had received the original concession from the Myanmar government for the megaproject in November 2010.

Mr Arkhom said one of the issues was the construction of the 138-km road from the Thai border to the Dawei project that Japan wanted to build as a highway.

The Thai cabinet earlier approved a loan of 4.5 billion baht to Myanmar’s government to build the road. Construction is expected to take three years.

The road is a part of the first phase of the Dawei development worth about UScopy.7 billion.

The first phase consists of a 27-sq-km industrial estate, a two-lane road from Dawei in Myanmar’s Tanintharyi region to Phunumron checkpoint in Kanchanaburi, an initial township for workers, a liquefied natural gas terminal for gas transport over long distances, a telecom landline, a power plant, a small port and a water reservoir.

Investors from China and Singapore are interested in providing water supply for the first phase, while Chinese and Japanese entrepreneurs want to invest in manufacturing.

Source: Bangkok Post

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