Dawei deep-sea port project

News and updates on business and industry in Myanmar/Burma.
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Re: Dawei deep-sea port project

Post by Admin » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:16 am

Thailand Losing out to China in Battle of the Burma Ports

Thailand’s dream of acquiring a trade gateway to the Indian Ocean may be scuppered not because of lukewarm interest by Japanese investors but because of Burmese and Chinese business interests.

The Bangkok government has blamed problems in securing Japanese investment for the latest delay in forging ahead with the Dawei industrial port project on Burma’s southeast coast. In fact, the grandiose multi-billion dollar scheme first envisaged by the private Thai developer Italian-Thai Development (ITD) as long ago as 2008 was in limbo long before the Thai government moved in last September to try to help it along.

The Burmese government had clearly gone cold on Dawei—which is closer to Bangkok than Rangoon by 300 km—when it refused to approve a huge 4,000 megawatt coal-fueled electricity generating plant at the site for ITD back in February 2012.

By then, Chinese government money was already building an oil transhipment terminal on the central coast at Kyaukphyu, another sleepy Burmese seaside town where gas from the Shwe field out in the Bay of Bengal will also come ashore.

Kyaukphyu is where oil and natural gas pipelines now being completed through Burma into China’s neighboring Yunnan Province begin. It’s where China plans to take a fast railway line from Yunnan carrying exports, and it’s where the Burmese government on the back of these developments has ambitions to build an economic zone to attract manufacturers and create a major import-export port with thousands of jobs.

Kyaukphyu is not close to Rangoon but it is only 250 km to Naypyidaw and less to the central Irrawaddy belt of towns leading up to Mandalay.

“The fundamental problem with the Dawei project is that its main beneficiary is always going to be Bangkok,” regional energy industries analyst-consultant Collin Reynolds told The Irrawaddy on Feb. 19. “The Thais want it primarily as a crude oil transhipment point much the same as the Chinese are achieving with their Kyaukphyu set up.

“Thailand also sees Dawei as a place where it could expand its petrochemicals industry, which is stymied on the edge of Bangkok because of environmental and health concerns.

“Japanese investment could go into Dawei in support of this because Japanese firms are among those that have been restricted at Bangkok’s Map Ta Phut petrochemicals industrial estate. But I think Japan sees bigger prospects in and around the port in Rangoon where some of its large industrial corporations have committed to a new economic zone.”

Whereas the Naypyidaw government has had no direct input on Dawei—beyond polite meetings with Thai government delegations led by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra—it has already appointed a minister, Myint Thein, to oversee a development agency for Kyaukphyu.

Naypyidaw has signed an agreement with China to permit a combined railway and highway which would link Kyaukphyu with towns in central Burma and especially Yunnan’s provincial capital Kunming.

No timetable for the 1,200-km-long railway’s construction has been announced, but the natural gas pipeline controlled by China National Petroleum Corporation is being tested this month and is scheduled to begin commercial operations in April, while the parallel oil pipeline should be completed by the end of this year.

Kyaukphyu is ideally placed for an expected growth in Burma’s offshore oil and gas exploitation. There are 20 or more untouched blocks dotted along the coast both sides of Kyaukphyu which are likely to go up for auction sometime this year.

“The Kyaukphyu Economic Zone is a specially designated area in which foreign companies will construct and operate petrochemical plants and oversee the export of Chinese-made products,” says Arakan Oil Watch, an NGO concerned about environmental and human rights issues such as land confiscation.

The NGO said a special economic zone law was established by the former military junta in January 2011 and is still in force, regulating investor privileges, land use, finance management and labor.

The Naypyidaw government has said it will consult local people, something that hasn’t happened at other major development sites, before finalizing industrial zoning at Kyaukphyu.

Thailand’s Transport Minister Chadchat Sittipunt, who chairs the Thai-Myanmar Joint Coordination Committee for Dawei, said on Feb. 12 there were serious problems preventing the Dawei project proceeding. It could be another whole year before Japan made a firm commitment, he said.

“Thailand’s Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning has said it will have to conduct a new feasibility study on several aspects of the project as Japan disagrees on [ITD’s] planning of the location of the port and infrastructure details,” said Hong Kong’s Inside Investor, which provides advice to business investors across Asia.

If Dawei does finally return to its sleepy seaside status, the Thais can still secure their gateway to the Indian Ocean and, like the Chinese, avoid using the Malacca Strait for oil shipments. The Thai Ministry of Transport is carrying out yet another feasibility study into a so-called land bridge across Thailand’s narrowest point.

It’s not as handy for Bangkok as Dawei, but Pakbara in southern Thailand near the Malaysian island of Langkawi on the Andaman Sea is only 100 km across to the Gulf of Thailand at Mueang Songkhla, short enough to build oil pipelines for transhipment.

Source: Irrawaddy

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Re: Dawei deep-sea port project

Post by Admin » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:00 am

ITD holds 25% in Dawei joint ventures
Italian-Thai Development (ITD) will hold at least 25% in eight joint ventures to be set up in Myanmar to develop infrastructure at the massive Dawei Special Economic Zone and deep-sea port during the first phase to open in 2016.

ITD president Premchai Karnasuta expressed relief on Monday that the Thai and Myanmar governments supported the project in eastern Myanmar. This would significantly reduce the financial burden on ITD.

Under the structures agreed by both governments, a special purposed vehicle (SPV) will be set up with the Thai and Myanmar sides holding a combined 60% with the rest from Japan and Korea.

China has also expressed an interest in participating, as well as other countries, he told a briefing on Monday.

Also, eight special purpose companies (SPCs) would be set up to manage infrastructure projects involving the deep-sea port, road and rail links, power plants, water facilities, industrial estate, telecom network and township.

Source: Bangkok Post

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Re: Dawei deep-sea port project

Post by Admin » Sat May 11, 2013 11:51 am

Thailand, Myanmar to sign SPV deal
Thailand and Myanmar will sign a deal on May 27 to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to manage the massive Dawei project for a deep seaport and economic zone, said Prime Minister's Office Minister Nivatthamrong Boonsongpaisal.

The signing will take place after a meeting of the Joint High-Level Committee, co-chaired by Myanmar Vice President Nyan Tun and Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, from May 26-28 in Thailand.

Nivatthamrong, who co-chairs the Myanmar-Thai Joint Coordinating Committee, said the Thai government had assigned the Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency to sign the SPV deal with a state agency under aegis of Myanmar's Ministry of Planning and Economic Development.

Thailand and Myanmar each will hold a 50-per-cent share in the SPV in the initial stage.

He added that Thailand and Myanmar each separately invited Japan to take part in the SPV but Tokyo is expected to take time to consider the case. He expects that in the future the SPV will see two more countries as shareholders besides Thailand and Myanmar. He said the appropriate number of countries taking shares in such an SPV was four to maintain a balance of interests.

The signing of the SPV will show that the project is making progress and will encourage investors to form special purpose companies (SPCs) to invest in specific areas such as roads and the seaport.

Nivatthamrong said Italian-Thai Development had continued construction work on the roads and port.

He added that Myanmar wanted to study Thailand's industrial zones to acquire information on all aspects of the Dawei project, given its size and comprehensive nature. The Thai government has coordinated with relevant state agencies to provide all crucial information to Myanmar.

The Thai state agencies have also prepared key information for potential investors to help them calculate the cost-effectiveness of participating via SPCs.

Many state agencies such as the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand are keen to take part in the project, Nivatthamrong said, adding that PTT might also invest in it.

Source: The Nation

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Re: Dawei deep-sea port project

Post by Admin » Fri May 24, 2013 8:18 am

Dawei Port Project Wins Thai Cabinet Approval
The Thai cabinet has approved a plan to support the Dawei deep-sea port and special economic zone (SEZ) in southern Burma, according to a report by the Thai News Agency. Chalitrat Chantarubeksa, a spokesperson for the Thai government, said that under the plan, Thailand’s Neighboring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency will take part in founding and investing in the Dawei SEZ Development Company. The multibillion-dollar project, which first won approval from the Burmese government in March 2010, has since stalled due to financing concerns and a lack of involvement by foreign investors.

Source: Irrawaddy

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Re: Dawei deep-sea port project

Post by Admin » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:42 pm

Thailand’s Dawei Port Project in Burma Not Dead Yet
Thailand’s plans to convert a remote coastal strip in southern Burma into a Southeast Asian gateway for international trade appear to have moved little from the drawing board. Or so it seems.

Efforts by the current government to throw a political lifeline to the deep-sea port and special economic zone (SEZ) in Dawei have had limited success financially. After all, its key salesperson, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, has struggled to secure the injection of funds needed from Japan to breathe life into the troubled multibillion-dollar project.

Nothing conveyed this better than Yingluck’s late May visit to Japan. During a keynote speech at the Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia, she portrayed Dawei as a bridge to take maritime connectivity to new heights, linking the Pacific Ocean in the east with the Indian Ocean in the west. “Dawei is an investment in the future of Asia,” she said. “We look forward to participation from foreign partners for investment.”

But it appeared—on the surface, at least—that Japanese support for the first phase of the US$50 billion harbor and SEZ was still not forthcoming. The chilly reception to Yingluck’s plea for funds stood in contrast to Tokyo’s clear interest in another industrial zone and port in Burma, at Thilawa.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe underscored this when he flew to Burma hours after Yingluck had spoken. Abe promised billions of dollars in debt relief, aid and new investments to the country’s reformist government. The financial support for the Thilawa SEZ, just south of Rangoon, affirmed its relevance as a marquee project for Japan, now in a rush to forge stronger economic ties with Burma.

Yet for those quick to dismiss the Dawei project as a stillborn blueprint, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) offers a different picture. It has emerged as a key behind-the-scenes player to confirm that the Japanese government still has an eye on the Dawei SEZ. Lending weight to this effort are leading Japanese companies such as Mitsui and Sumitomo, which are listed as “supporters of the project,” according to an informed source.

Heading the METI’s priorities is a study to review the plan for the harbor and the SEZ that was first conceived by Italian-Thai Development (ITD), Thailand’s largest construction company. That assessment is expected to be completed this year.

ITD won the 60-year concession in 2008 from Burma’s then military regime to develop what it has been promoting as Southeast Asia’s largest industrial zone. Its plans for the 200-square-kilometer industrial complex and port included steel mills, oil refineries and petrochemical plants. An eight-lane highway was to link the Dawei SEZ to major industrial zones and the port southeast of Bangkok.

ITD’s failure to attract $8.5 billion to fund the infrastructure for first phase imperiled the project until the Yingluck administration stepped in to shoulder the burden of raising international finance, with Japanese investment billed as a key draw. Another boost followed: the recent creation of a special company, in which the Thai and Burma governments will each hold 30 percent stakes, to raise finances for the Dawei SEZ.

But the prospect of Japanese funds pouring into this special purpose vehicle (SPV) will have to wait until Tokyo completes a revamped vision for the project. That includes a new Dawei master plan developed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) following the METI’s review of ITD’s Dawei master plan, according to a report seen by The Irrawaddy.

In fact, Japan’s interest in this venture was first rooted in another initiative that had drawn Tokyo’s attention—developing logistics as part of its investment portfolio to transform the lower Mekong River region. Under this arrangement, Japan, Thailand and Burma were to “establish a trilateral dialogue for the development of Dawei,” according to the Japanese foreign ministry.

“Japan Inc. is interested in Dawei as a general matter,” said Yuki Akimoto, director of Burma Information Network-Japan, a Tokyo-based watchdog that monitors financial flows to Burma. “But Dawei would be a much bigger undertaking than Thilawa.”

It has also raised questions about who profits more, she told The Irrawaddy, pointing out that Japan may not be in a rush to invest in a project where Thailand stands to reap most of the benefits. “I think it’s partly a matter of sequencing—Japan can’t commit to Thilawa and Dawei at the same level simultaneously—and partly that Japan wants to be helping Burma and not so much Thailand.”

Thailand’s interest in the Dawei project has been further complicated by the overt role played by Thaksin Shinawatra, the fugitive former prime minister, to see the struggling project become a reality. Besides regularly muscling his way into Burma—including a mid-April meeting with the country’s powerful army commander, Sr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing—the eldest brother of Yingluck has also begun lobbying forcefully in Japan.

This has seen the emergence of a hitherto unknown organization last year during Thaksin’s visit to the country. The so-called “Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Promotion Organization” only seems to feature Thaksin and stresses the importance of the Dawei project as a symbol of Thai-Japanese partnership as its main mission.

“Connectivity is the card Thailand wants to play to increase its regional competitiveness and significance,” said Pavida Pananond, associate professor at Thammasat University’s business school in Bangkok. “There is nothing wrong with that. But this should be done in a transparent and straightforward way.

“If Dawei is so crucial for Thailand, prove why not having it would hurt the country,” she asserted in an interview. “Make it clear what the role and responsibility of the Thai government is, and it should not be an industrial estate operator.”

The rocky journey toward this regional logistics hub has not dampened ITD’s enthusiasm. A workforce of 300 men and women has been assigned to carve out the highway that will link the Dawei SEZ to Thailand’s Laem Chabang port.

“Italian-Thai feels confident that it would be able to attract Japanese investment for the highway,” said Naruemon Thabchumpon, a political scientist at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University. “Japan has been interested in supporting regional connectivity, such as the east-west highway links across the Mekong region.”

But that will test the Thai construction giant’s patience. “They may have little choice, given the $2 million already invested and the recent announcement that it may commit a further $300 million for the first phase of the project,” a source familiar with ITD’s investments revealed. “Dawei has exposed the difference between the Thai way of doing business overseas and Japan’s.”

Source: Irrawaddy

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Re: Dawei deep-sea port project

Post by KoKo » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:03 am

Thailand, Myanmar agrees on Dawei project infrastructure development plan

A Thai-Myanmar joint committee agreed on infrastructure development plan of the Dawei special economic zone project (Dawei SEZ) in southeastern Myanmar.

Thai Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong and Myanmar Vice President Nyan Tun who co-chair the Joint High- Level Committee (JHC) of the Dawei SEZ told a press briefing Monday that the JHC meeting has agreed on a framework of the five- year development plan between 2014 and 2018.

The development plan focuses on infrastructure development including roads connecting the Dawei project to border province of Kanchanaburi, small-size sea port, natural gas-fuelled power generating plant, reservoirs and land development for industrial estates.

Thai Prime Minister's Officer Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan said the whole infrastructure development plan alone is expected to cost 300-400 billion US dollars. However, the first five-year infrastructure development plan will cost only $976 million.

The meeting also agreed that on the initial capital of Dawei SEZ Development, the company set up to give consultations, and invite and select investors to develop the project.

The finance minister said both countries will hold equal shares in the company through Myanmar's Foreign Economic Relations Department (FERD) and Thailand's Neighboring Countries Economic Development (NEDA) with 12 million baht or about $390,000 initial capital.

Source: Global Times

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Re: Dawei deep-sea port project

Post by Saiua » Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:35 pm

Myanmar, Thailand Invite Japan To Join SEZ Project In Myanmar

Myanmar and Thailand have invited Japan to join in the development of Dawei Special Economic Zone ( SEZ) in Myanmar's southern Tanintharyi region, China's Xinhua news agency said, quoting official media's report Wednesday.

Myanmar and Thailand, which have agreed earlier for the move, further invited Japan at a tripartite meeting in Bangkok to cooperate in the project as strategic partner in the SEZ development, said the New Light of Myanmar.

Seeking ways for prompt practical implementation steps of the Dawei SEZ project, the tripartite meeting among Myanmar, Thailand and Japan also focused on setting up of special purpose vehicles, share holders' agreements and framework agreement, project proposal, resettlement and Japan's participation in the project, it said.

Initially, Myanmar and Thailand agreed on a five-year infrastructure development plan of the Dawei SEZ which includes roads connecting the Dawei project to border province of Kanchanaburi, small-size sea port, natural gas-fuelled power generating plant, reservoirs and land development for industrial estates.

Myanmar and Thailand set up a joint committee on comprehensive development of the Dawei SEZ and its related projects during U Nyan Tun's last visit to Bangkok in November 2012 and its second meeting was held in Bangkok over the last two days.

The project was agreed during a visit to Thailand by President U Thein Sein earlier in July of the year.

Myanmar and Thailand signed a framework agreement in November 2010 covering the projects of industrial zone, road and rail link to Thailand in the Tanintharyi region.

The Dawei deep sea-port, industrial zone and road and rail link to Thailand construction project represents the first ever special economic zone in Myanmar.

The project includes construction of Dawei deep sea-port, buildings for shipyard and maintenance work, establishment of zone, petrochemical industries, oil refinery, steel plant, power stations and Dawei-Bangkok motor road and railroad and laying of oil pipeline along the motorway and railroad.

Meanwhile, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra visited the planned project site in December 2012 for the first time, pledging to cooperate closely with Myanmar to implement the project more effectively.

Source: Bernama

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Re: Dawei deep-sea port project

Post by Saiua » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:26 pm

Burma Must Take Ownership of Dawei SEZ: Thai Govt

The Thai government’s planning unit says the success of the Dawei megaport project in Tenasserim Division depends on the will of Burma’s government and the country’s ongoing reform process, the Bangkok Post reports. The secretary-general of Thailand’s National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) told a forum recently that Japan “still questions whether Thailand or Myanmar owns the Dawei project,” and that “Myanmar must show it owns the bulk of the project within its borders.” Japanese investors, who have approached the project with caution, are seen as critical to the success of the Thai-backed port and industrial estate.

Source: Irrawaddy

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Re: Dawei deep-sea port project

Post by Pear » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:01 pm

Myanmar unveils 75-year plan on development of SEZ

Myanmar has worked out a 75-year plan to develop its Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) seeking strategic partnership with Japan in addition to Thailand and inviting international tenders and developers for the project.

The plan, in five phases, will be implemented on land covering 44,850 acres, according to U Aye Myint, chairman of the Central Working Committee for Implementation of the Dawei SEZ, reports Xinhua.

No environmentally and socially harmful projects will be allowed in the SEZ, the first of its kind in the country, added U Aye Myint, the newly-appointed minister of labor, employment and social security.

Featuring small and midsize enterprises (SME) specialized in garment, leather products, food, rubber, industry-based agricultural products and furniture, the first phase of the project, scheduled for completion in five years, will be implemented on a land of 2,500 acres.

The second phase, also spans five years, is to be implemented on an extended land of 2,000 acres catering to steel, fertilizer, oil refinery and vehicle manufacturing factories.

The third phase, which will last 10 years, will include building plastic, chemicals and crude oil refinery factories, while in the fourth and fifth phases, commercial firms and marketing companies will be introduced in.

The Dawei SEZ also includes infrastructure projects such as building deep-sea port and a Myanmar-Thai highway, power plants, dam and residential housing.

Source: New York Daily News

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Re: Dawei deep-sea port project

Post by Admin » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:19 am

Rojana steps forward to develop Dawei
The SET-listed Rojana Industrial Park Plc will inject an initial amount of 2.5 billion baht into its 50:50 joint venture with Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD) to develop the first phase of Dawei Industrial Estate in Myanmar.

Somchet Thinaphong, managing director of Dawei Development Co (DDC), said the first phase of 3,000 square metres requires 5 billion baht to develop, excluding the cost for infrastructure such as a power plant.

Under the agreement, Rojana will hold half of the special purpose vehicle (SPV) for Dawei Industrial Estate with the balance held by ITD, Thailand's largest contractor, which was granted a concession to develop the special economic zone (SEZ) and a deep-sea port in Dawei.

The first phase will be ready to operate by the end of this year, serving mainly light industries, he added. Strategically located on 127,000 rai, Dawei Industrial Estate will be an influential platform for booming investment in Southeast Asia, said Rojana's managing director Jirapongs Vinichbutr.

"Considering the great opportunities arising from the continued growth of investments in Asean, we agreed to join ITD to establish a development company for the Dawei Industrial Estate," he said.

Development will be divided into different phases with target customers the auto parts, textiles and garments, electronics and electrical, para rubber products, rubber and wooden furniture, plastics, construction materials and equipment, leatherwork and seafood industries.

"The approaching Asean Economic Community has added greater flexibility to the industrial sector. Therefore, we decided to keep pace with these changes and investor needs by expanding in our neighbouring countries," said Mr Jirapongs.

Foreign investors are keen on Myanmar, in particular the Dawei area which is considered an important gateway linking rapid logistics systems to Western countries, he added.Mr Jirapongs said the operation and marketing of the Dawei estate is expected to commence by year-end, while buyers can begin their construction in early 2014.

Shares of ROJNA closed Monday on the SET at 8.80 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 17.40 million baht.

Source: Bangkok Post

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