Dec 20, 2011

$3.3m Pathein jetty investment plan

A subsidiary of the Myanmar Ayar Mon Group of Companies has unveiled plans to invest K2.7 billion (about US$3.3 million) to develop Pathein jetty as an international port.

The decision was announced by the managing director of the Myanmar Ayar Mon Port and River Management Co Ltd, U Soe Maung Myint, at a news conference in Yangon on November 29.

He said the Minister of Transport, U Nyan Htun Aung, had indicated that approval would be granted for the project. U Soe Maung Myint said the Myanma Port Authority under the Ministry of Transport was considering an application from Myanmar Ayar Mon Port and River Management Co Ltd to lease the jetty for $12,000 a month.

U Soe Maung Myint said the decision to seek approval for the project had followed surveys his company had conducted on the Pathein River from September 1 to October 22 which had shown that the jetty had the potential to be developed as an international port.

He said the jetty had been used as a commercial port until 1995 when it had to cease operations because of siltation in the river.

This had meant that rice produced on the western side of Ayeyarwady Region had to be transported by road to Yangon. This had affected the price at which the rice was sold because of transportation costs.

It also meant that income earned from the sale of the rice benefited Yangon Region rather than Ayeyarwady Region, U Soe Maung Myint said.

He said Myanmar Ayar Mon Port and River Management Co planned to operate the port with the Ever Flow River Company.

U Soe Maung Myint said it was 72 kilometres from Pathein to the sea and the surveys conducted earlier this year had shown that about 46km would have to be dredged to accommodate vessels with a draft of up to 8 metres.

He said the cost of dredging would be K600 million every two months, or about K3.6 billion (about $4.5 million) a year. However, he said some of the cost of the dredging could be recouped if a proposal to export dredged sand to the Maldives and Singapore was approved.

U Soe Maung Myint said the proposed port would be able to use a container yard in Pathein capable of accommodating 250 containers that was owned by the Ministry of Transport.

He said a feasibility study showed that the company could charge a K6600 a tonne container maintenance fee and a $20 fee for each vessel that docked at the port.

U Soe Maung Myint said Pathein jetty can handle 500,000 tonnes of rice a month but volumes were likely to increase substantially after the proposed port went into operation, resulting in a healthy return on investment.

The proposed port project would also provide job opportunities for Pathein residents, he said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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