22 Jan 20 - Source: Myanmar Times - Japan announced yesterday that it is providing loans totalling ¥120.9 billion (US$1.1 billion) to Myanmar for four infrastructure projects.
Japanese Ambassador to Myanmar Ichiro Maruyama and Myanmar's Deputy Minister for Planning, Finance and Industry U Maung Maung Win signed agreements for the loans in Nay Pyi Taw on Tuesday.
The projects that the loans will be used for are the Yangon sewerage system development, urban development for the reduction of traffic congestion and the damage caused by flooding in Yangon, power distribution improvement in Yangon and Mandalay, and regional infrastructure improvement in Chin, Rakhine, Mon, Kayin, and Tanintharyi.
The ¥45.9 billion sewerage system development project in Yangon will provide funds to renovate and expand waste water treatment plants, to construct sewer pipes and to improve the living environment of local residents in the central business district of Yangon, where about 10 percent of Myanmar›s population reside.
Currently, most of human waste, domestic wastewater and wastewater from businesses flows into rivers untreated, causing water quality deterioration.
By implementing this project, the capacity to treat wastewater will be increased up to about seven times by 2030 (two years after project completion), and the amount of wastewater treatment is expected to be about 130 times the current amount.
Estimated to cost ¥24 billion, the project to reduce of traffic congestion and the damage caused by floods in Yangon will involve work to improve drainage, take measures against traffic congestion at level crossings on main roads and upgrading of the Yangon Circular Railway Road.
The Yangon metropolitan area has seen a fivefold increase in the number of registered motor vehicles due to economic growth. The project will see about a third of the main drainage channels improved and measures taken to reduce traffic congestion and improve traffic safety on the main roads of the city.
The ¥12.2 billion power distribution improvement project in Yangon and Mandalay will repair and expand the electricity distribution network to improve power supply in Myanmar's major commercial cities. In 2017, the maximum power demand was about 3,075 MW nationwide. In 2020, power demand is expected to increase up to 4,531MW and the government is planning to increase the amount of power generated.
However, the improvement of power distribution infrastructure has been delayed, and it is expected that there will be many power distribution facilities exceeding their capacity in 2020. The project is expected to reduce distribution loss rate by 1 percent in each city and reduce power outages caused by the insufficient capacity of the distribution facilities.
The ¥38.6 billion infrastructure improvement project in Chin, Rakhine, Mon, Kayin, and Tanintharyi will improve the lives of local residents through new construction, renovation and installation of basic infrastructure such as roads, bridges, electric power and water supply in rural areas of Myanmar.
The poverty rate is highest in Chin State (73.8pc) and Rakhine State (43.5pc), and the electrification and water supply are low. The development of basic infrastructure has been a challenge for the economic development in states and regions with higher poverty rates.