Agreement Moves Myanmar’s Kyaukphyu Port Project a Step Forward

Construction News Myanmar
A crude tanker docks at Maday Island in Kyaukphyu in 2019. / The Irrawaddy

Agreement Moves Myanmar’s Kyaukphyu Port Project a Step Forward

An agreement to conduct preliminary field investigation work for the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Deep Sea Port Project has been signed, signaling another step forward for the project, which forms part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) plans in Myanmar.

The project’s main developer, China International Trust and Investment Corporation Group (CITIC), announced that CITIC Consortium Myanmar Port Investment Limited, as the client, had signed with the successful bidder, a consortium composed by CITIC Construction and CCCC FHDI, a subsidiary of China Communication Construction Company, to conduct consultancy services and preliminary field investigation work in Rakhine State in western Myanmar, where the project is located. The agreement was made on Sept. 15 in Beijing.

The Kyaukphyu SEZ is a backbone project under the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), which is itself a part of China’s ambitious BRI.

The project also includes plans to construct an industrial zone with facilities for textile and garment manufacturing, construction materials processing, food processing, pharmaceuticals, electronics, marine supplies and services, and research. The entire project is planned to cover 4,300 acres (1,740 hectares).

During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to Myanmar in January 2020, the two sides signed concession and shareholders’ agreements for the deep seaport. According to the agreements, the two sides will incorporate a joint venture to carry out the construction and operation of the project.

In November 2018, the Kyaukphyu SEZ Management Committee and CITIC inked a framework agreement for the long-delayed development of the Kyaukphyu SEZ.

The initial agreement called for a project worth US$9-10 billion, but the two sides have since agreed that the project will start out on a “small or medium-sized” scale. Under the previous government the first phase of the deep-sea port was implemented with a US$1.5-billion budget.