Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Myanmar proposes reducing area of Dawei project

Myanmar has caused Thailand concern over the Dawei project by proposing a significant reduction in its overall area to 150 square kilometres, from 204.5 sq km.

Thailand has responded to the proposal by saying it is already in the process of a feasibility study on the Dawei Deep Sea Port and Dawei Industrial Estate Project based on the original proposed size of the project, Transport Minister Chatchart Sithipan said.

Myanmar made the new proposal after a discussion between President Thein Sein and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Chatchart said.

"This is the first meeting in which Myanmar's president clearly said he would invite a third country, likely Japan, to join in the investment. It is a benefit, as Japan has long-term funding sources for investment in infrastructure, including the port and roads," Chatchart said.

Of the total investment estimate of Bt270 billion in the project, Thailand's portion is Bt75 billion, he said. That includes Bt45 billion for construction of a motorway between Bang Yai and Kanchanaburi and another Bt10 billion for a motorway between Kanchanaburi and Banphu Namron.

The cost of a railway from Myanmar to Thailand's Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate will be Bt20 billion.

Chatchart said the priority was to find business partners with strong financial status and existing customer bases for joint investment.

In the preliminary stage, the investment will be in two patterns. The first pattern is to set up a specific purpose vehicle, which is similar to a holding company with subsidiaries for business operations, including telecommunications, infrastructure and industrial estates. The second pattern is to set up companies to be separately responsible for business operations.