YANGON – More than 5o local and international conglomerates, mostly from Asia, have submitted Expressions of Interest (EoI) applications for the Yangon Elevated Expressway project to the Myanmar government.
An announcement from the Ministry of Construction (MOC’s) on Wednesday noted that the highway project aimed to alleviate the severe traffic congestion in Yangon and that 53 companies had participated in the initial EoI step. The ministry previously stated in late May 2018 that it was seeking to invite international developers to build up to 47.5km of expressway under a public-private partnership (PPP).
The planned four-lane ring road will connect downtown Yangon, Yangon Port, Yangon International Airport, Mingalardon Industrial Park and the Yangon-Mandalay Highway. Construction is expected to take two to three years.
According to the list, 16 of the companies come from Myanmar, while 13 come from China, seven from Japan, three from both India and Korea, and nearly all the rest from other Asian countries. There is only one company from Europe, France’s VINCI Highways, which is generally active in Germany and well-known for its high-tech highway construction methods.
Of the 13 Chinese firms, state-owned conglomerate Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC), which signed a framework agreement with New Yangon City Project in May to work on an infrastructure project on 20,000 acres in the first phase of the expressway task, was also listed as an EoI applicant. Moreover, its subsidiaries China Harbour Engineering Com Ltd (CHEC), China Railway international Group (CRIG) and China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) also submitted EoI applications.
CRIG, CHEC and CRBC have all developed many infrastructure projects in Africa and Asia under build-operate-transfer (BOT) and public-private-partnership (PPP) schemes for both the government and private sectors.
Within the Japanese bloc, Kajima Corporation and Sojitz Corporation as well as IHI Corporation submitted EoIs. All these companies have experience in heavy industry manufacturing, off-shore facilities, and participation in the resource and energy sectors in foreign countries. IHI even participates in the government aeronautical-engineering, space and defense fields.
Among the 16 local companies, Max Myanmar Construction Company Ltd, owned by Ayeyarwaddy banker U Zaw Zaw, SHWE TAUNG Development Company, owned by U Eaik Htun and Capital Development Group’s U Ko Kyo Gyi, and Myanmar Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) are also exploring participation in the project.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has been appointed as the exclusive lead advisor for the project and officially signed terms with the Ministry of Construction on Jan. 11. The IFC has estimated that the expressway project will facilitate about $350-$400 million of private investment in Yangon’s road infrastructure.
The MOC statement says it will announce the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in August and will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) within the last quarter of the year.