Dawei megaproject back on track: Thai firm

Thai construction giant Italian-Thai Development Plc has signed an agreement with the Myanmar government to begin work immediately on the first phase of the Dawei megaproject, the Bangkok Post reported.

The report, headlined ‘Deal puts Dawei on fast track’, did not say when the agreement was signed.

The newspaper quoted ITD president Premchai Karnasuta as saying the company had received a US$1.7 billion loan from the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank as a rst tranche of funding for the project.

Of the $1.7 billion, $500 million would nance a 450-megawatt gas-fired power plant and another $500 million would be spent on a petrochemical plant and an oil refinery, the report said.

It said Thailand and Myanmar had previously agreed on a master plan providing for an industrial estate covering 132 square kilometres, a deep-sea port, a four-lane road to the Thai border, water supply and treatment and power plants. ITD plans to invest in a coal-fired power plant after the industrial zone is fully developed, the August 8 report said.

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ITD expects to develop the first phase of the industrial estate for sale next year to electronics, garment and tyre manufacturers.

The report said a concession agreement signed with the Myanmar government had given ITD and its consortium partners the rights to develop the project for 50 years, with an option to extend for another 25 years.

The reported agreement on the much-troubled project is a breakthrough for ITD, which was granted a 75-year concession for the project by Myanmar’s military government in 2008. Myanmar and Thailand had signed a memorandum of understanding earlier that year to develop the Dawei Special Economic Zone.

Amid difficulties over funding, the Myanmar and Thai governments temporarily assumed responsibility for the project from ITD in 2013 and construction work was suspended. The following year, the two governments announced plans to revive the project and said ITD would be involved.

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