Tuesday, August 18, 2015

IFC Denies It Will Fund Dawei Project

The International Finance Corporation has denied claims that it is funding the revived project to build an infrastructure hub at Dawei.

The Bangkok Post reported this week that Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD), the Thai conglomerate long involved in the proposed development in Dawei, had signed a new agreement with the Burmese government that would see work begin “immediately.”

The report carried quotes from ITD President Premchai Karnasuta, who “said his company received a US$1.7-billion loan from the International Finance Corporation [IFC] and the World Bank to be used as the first tranche of funds for Dawei,” according to the Bangkok Post.
The IFC is a branch of the World Bank Group that finances private-sector projects in developing countries.

Vikram Kumar, the IFC’s resident representative in Burma, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that he was “quite surprised” to see the article claiming his organization would stump up the funding for the project.

Kumar said that IFC officials had indeed met with ITD six to nine months ago, but said any commitment of funds by IFC would first require extensive due diligence and clearance at different levels of the Washington-based organization.

“We have met Ital-Thai and we have met the sponsor [Premchai], but we’ve just had one meeting and they’ve shared an interest to have us help them in Dawei,” he said. “They have been updating us with their progress, but we haven’t signed anything.”

He said that in fact the IFC was more likely to provide funding for a LNG terminal planned for Dawei. Kumar said he had also attended meetings about that project, which also involves ITD, but is separate from the development of a port, special economic zone and road link with Thailand.

“For us it’s more about what the government of Myanmar wants us to do,” Kumar added.