Myanmar pans out scheme for economic zone

23 October 2014 | Feng Yingqiu | Global Post

Source: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/141023/roundu...

Myanmar has worked out a plan to implement the delayed Myanmar-Thai Dawei Special Economic Zone ( SEZ) in the southern part of the country by building compressed natural gas (CNG) power plants.

Using imported CNG, the first plant will generate 15 megawatts (mw) and the second phase will yield 450 mw later, said U Aye Myint, Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Security and chairman of the Central Working Committee for Implementation of Dawei SEZ.

Dawei SEZ is divided into two parts, an initial zone for small industries and a second zone for larger industries.

The implementation of the initial zone will start in November or December this year on 2,430 hectares of land which includes upgrading the road linking the Dawei SEZ and Thai-Myanmar border, building a small seaport before implementing the Dawei deep seaport project, undertaking power and water supply and development projects.

The initial section of Dawei SEZ project is also divided into three phases and will begin on 607 hectares first.

According to U Aye Myint, only after 65 percent of the factories on the first 607 hectares of land are operational, then it will go to the next step of the initial zone on next 607 hectares.

Meanwhile, it is confirmed that Japan will be involved in the second zone for big industries despite non-involvement in the initial zone.

However, Japan will carry out three research projects with a fund of 700,000 U.S. dollars before it gets involved in the zone's implementation.

The three research projects, set to begin at the end of this month and to complete by next March, is aimed at finding out how it can operate in the development the industrial project and for the development of the southern economic corridor in the Southeast Asian nation.

As part of the research projects, Japan will also draw a master plan for the Dawei SEZ and will carry out research to find out how stake-holder countries can provide technical assistance to the zone and how those countries and the people can cooperate for the success of the zone.

Myanmar and Thailand have been seeking revival of the years- delayed Dawei SEZ project in Myanmar's southern Tanintharyi region.

Although the project started in November 2010 in accordance with the framework agreement between the Myanmar Port Authority and the Italian-Thai Development Company, it has faced long delay, calling for governmental cooperation of the two sides for the resumption.

Meanwhile, Myanmar revised its plan of developing the Dawei SEZ in December last year, inviting international companies to bid for the project following the pull-out of the Italian-Thai company, which had failed to keep on with the project work.

The Dawei SEZ Management Committee revealed that former agreement with the Italian-Thai Company on the project has terminated to make way for carrying out due to diligence assessment of the company by international consulting firms and invitation to prospective international investors and developers for tendering the project competitively and transparently.