12 Companies Bid to Develop Infrastructure in Kyaukphyu SEZ

By Thit Nay Moe 29 September 2014

RANGOON — Eleven foreign companies and one local company have expressed interest in developing infrastructure for the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Arakan State.

Three of the companies will be awarded tenders, according to the tender selection board.

“Currently, 12 companies have expressed interest. Some companies have merged with four or five other companies and applied jointly. A local developer has also expressed interest,” said Aung Kyaw Than, secretary of the selection board.

The winners will be chosen in the last week of December and announced in January 2015.

Three developers will be assigned to implement port, industrial and residential projects, respectively, Myint Thein, the deputy rail transport minister and chairman of the SEZ’s management subcommittee, said in July.

In March, the government named a consortium led by Singapore-based firm CPG as the winner of the US$2.5 million consulting contract for the project, one of three planned SEZs that Burma hopes will drive economic growth and provide jobs. The Kyaukphyu SEZ is planned for the island in Arakan State that is also the terminus of Chinese-built cross-country oil and gas pipelines, and officials have expressed hopes that the developments will transform the impoverished coastal region.

Myint Thein said the SEZ would initially cover 1,000 acres of land and would later expand to 4,000 acres.

While the tight deadlines signal the Burmese government’s desire to get the Kyaukphyu project under way swiftly, the Japan-backed SEZ at Thilawa, near Rangoon, has gathered the greatest momentum among the country’s industrial zone plans. However, long-standing plans to develop an industrial hub in Dawei, Tenasserim Division, have stalled, with the Thai developer initially selected for the project no longer in charge of the development.