18 December 2020 - Source: Myanmar Times

The Japanese government will commence a survey to determine the total amount of capital expenditure required to participate in the development of the Dawei deep sea port project, said U Tin Htoo Naing, secretary for Dawei SEZ management committee.

The move comes after Japan last month made an official offer to Myanmar and Thailand to invest in the long-delayed Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Myanmar is counting on financial and technical support from Japan to kickstart construction of the long-delayed SEZ.

Japanese Ambassador to Myanmar Mr Ichiro Maruyama and U Tun Naing, deputy minister for Electricity and Energy and U Tin Htoo Naing, on December 16 discussed moving forward with construction of a deep seaport at the SEZ by kickstarting the process of conducting a Strategic Environmental Assessment.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will conduct the survey and feasibility study on the deep sea port project. The survey will include soil, climate, tide and market conditions and replace an earlier study.

"The capital outlay for such a project is huge and we need to do it properly. Many studies are needed and we will be able to negotiate how to cooperate with Japan after the survey is complete," said U Tin Htoo Naing.

The SEZ will require basic facilities and infrastructure such as water supply, road and electricity access and a deep seaport for trade.

The Dawei SEZ is expected to be the largest SEZ in South East Asia - about eight times larger than Thilawa SEZ in Yangon - and over ten times larger than Kyauk Phyu SEZ in Rakhine when complete.

Located 20 kilometres north of Dawei, the capital of Tanintharyi Region in Myanmar's southeast coast bordering Thailand, the Dawei SEZ comprises 20,000 hectares of land and includes industrial as well as port facilities.

Loans have been acquired from the Thais to construct a highway between Dawei and the Thai border, which will be complete in 2023. Work to connect the SEZ to the national grid is expected to be completed in 2023 as well.

Construction of the port is expected to take longer to complete. "The port will involve huge costs and will need more time to build," he said.