Japanese firm opens $12.2m concrete products factory in ministry joint venture

Tokyo-based heavy industry company IHI Corp has opened a multi-million dollar pre-stressed concrete factory near Yangon in a joint venture with the Ministry of Construction, Kyodo newsagency reported.

The opening ceremony for the US$12.2 million (about K16.5 billion) factory in the Myaungdagar Steel Industrial Zone at Hmawbi, about 50 kilometres northwest of Yangon, was on May 1.

The joint venture between the ministry’s Highways Department and the Japanese company’s Singapore subsidiary, IHI Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd, will operate as I&H Engineering Co, Kyodo said.

It is the first Japanese facility to make pre-stressed concrete products in Myanmar, the newsagency said.

It quoted the company as saying the factory, built on a plot covering more than 65,000 square metres, went into operation in early April and has a workforce of more than 60.

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It will have an annual production capacity of 50,000 to 70,000 tones of pre-stressed concrete products, such as bridge girders and spun piles for foundations.

IHI president Mr Tsugio Mitsuoka said at the opening ceremony that a steady supply of concrete was crucial for the infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges and buildings, that will Myanmar will need for its development.

He was also quoted as saying that there was great potential demand for pre-stressed concrete products in Myanmar because, like Japan, it is prone to earthquakes.

Construction Minister U Win Khaing said the ceremony that the opening of the factory was much welcomed, as was the transfer of technology that would contribute to the development of Myanmar’s construction sector.

 “Japan is one of the most supportive and friendly countries to Myanmar for our private and public sectors,” Kyodo quoted Win Khaing as saying.

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