Burma

$55M Offshore Supply Base Slated for Irrawaddy Region

By Salai Thant Zin 2 July 2019

PATHEIN, Irrawaddy Region—Construction of an offshore supply base will begin in November on the beach at Palin Chaing in Ngapudaw Township, Irrawaddy Region.

The US$55-million project has been approved by the Myanmar Investment Commission, and will be built by Myint and Associates Offshore Supply Base (MAOSB), according to the Irrawaddy region government.

“[The company] has signed a pledge promising to do what it takes to satisfy locals regarding the environmental impacts,” regional electricity, energy, industry and transportation minister U Win Htay told The Irrawaddy.

The offshore supply base will sit on 50 hectares of land, and will be complete with a quay for ocean-going vessels.

“Traditional fishing will continue. We have estimated the extent our project can impact upon [the locality]. We have also assessed the social impact, and we will act according to the pledges made in our environmental management plan,” said MAOSB’s executive director U Tint Swe.

The company has obtained documentation from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation that certifies that the company abides by the rules and regulations on environmental conservation, he added.

The base will supply, transport and store necessities for the exploration of offshore oil and gas fields, he said.

Locals of Nan Thapu Village located near the project site have called on the government and the company to ensure transparency, responsibility and accountability regarding the project, and also urged both sides to ensure the project does not affect their livelihoods.

“If this project is to be implemented here, local people should be informed properly about it. It must have transparency and meet international norms. And it is very important that it does not negatively affect the environment,” said Nan Thapu local Nan Cho Pyone.

When a coal-fired power plant project was proposed to be built near the village of Nan Thapu in 2014, during the time of the Union Solidarity and Development Party government, it faced strong opposition from locals and was later shelved permanently due to environmental concerns.

Nan Thapu is a famous eco-tourism spot which lies near Gawyangyi, a beach some 74 miles southwest of Pathein, the capital of Irrawaddy Region.

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