Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dawei partnership put on hold

Bangkok Post 12/05/2015

The joint venture to develop the first phase of the industrial estate in Myanmar's Dawei megaproject has been put on hold indefinitely.

The partners have not yet settled the benefit-sharing deal, SET-listed Rojana Industrial Park Plc (ROJNA) said.

Amara Charoengitwattanagun, a director of Rojana, said the company and its partner, SET-listed Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD), had not finalised details of the benefit-sharing scheme since they had yet to complete an infrastructure plan for the project.

"The first phase of the industrial estate as well as the signing ceremony for the memorandum of understanding with the Myanmar government will have to be delayed. We don't know for how long," she said, adding that the signing ceremony was initially set for this month.

Ms Amara said another major problem was the company had not yet finalised a plan for location of main infrastructure facilities such as power plants and roads for the 20,000-rai industrial estate.

The first phase of the estate in Dawei is a joint venture between Rojana and Ital-Thai, with equal shareholding of 50% each and a total budget of 20 billion baht.

"We cannot develop the first phase at this stage. No one will buy land and invest in anything if they're not confident about when all the infrastructure will be in place," Ms Amara said.

"So we need to wait and be sure about the infrastructure before selling the land for industrial development."

Thailand and Myanmar agreed in June 2013 to set up Dawei SEZ Development Co (DSEZ).
Myanmar also needs to get parliamentary approval for the loan and conduct an environmental impact assessment for the road construction, part of the first-phase development.

Japan is also to join the partnership for DSEZ, the special-purpose vehicle (SPV) that will manage the deep-sea port and SEZ.

Japan intends to participate in the project, offering technical and financial support.

It is set to sign a deal in July to participate in DSEZ, running the languishing multibillion-dollar megaproject.

In addition, Thailand and Myanmar have agreed to set up SPVs to manage the port, road and rail links, power plants, waterworks, industrial estates, telecommunications and a township.

Ms Amara said the company is still awaiting a clear sign from its partner on how to proceed with the infrastructure, especially the electricity network, before any further progress on the signing ceremony.

Somjet Tinnapong, managing director of Dawei Development Co, a subsidiary of Ital-Thai, said talks about the project are still ongoing but declined to give details.