Burma Business Roundup (Saturday, March 17)
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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Burma Business Roundup (Saturday, March 17)

By WILLIAM BOOT / THE IRRAWADDY Saturday, March 17, 2012


Mon Island Port Plan Faces Logistical Hurdles

Proposals for yet another “international” port on Burma’s southeast coast have been labeled as impracticable by industry observers.

The Mon transport enterprise Talamon Company is reportedly seeking national government approval to build a port on sleepy Kalegauk Island which is several kilometers off the Mon coast 90 km west of the Three Pagodas Pass border point with Thailand.

Talamon said it US $1 billion port would be much more modest than the $50 billion one planned for Dawei about 200 km down the coast.

The firm, which operates road freight and passenger services and trades in building material and machinery parts, told the Mon news service Kaowao this week it also planned a road link between the coast and Three Pagodas Pass.

“This might prove a useful trading link for the main Mon town of Moulmein but it doesn’t look practical as an international trade link,” Bangkok energy and infrastructures consultant-analyst Collin Reynolds told The Irrawaddy.

“If you look at a map, Kalegauk is pretty remote as well as being separated from the mainland, which presents more headaches. It’s nearly 400 km to Bangkok as the crow flies compared with 250 km for the proposed Dawei-Bangkok link.

“Road and electricity infrastructure in the area around Kalegauk is also rather primitive at present.”

Another Bangkok-based consultant, Sar Watana, who advises shipping companies, said: Location and infrastructure could be a problem for this venture, but it might work as a localized trade base for Mon.”

Hong Kong Oil Firm in New onshore Joint Venture with MOGE

A Hong Kong company with links to China’s state-owned energy conglomerates has signed a deal to explore for oil and gas in central Burma.

EPI Holdings will team up with Burma’s government-controlled Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) and the privately owned Aye Myint Khine Company to drill in the Magwe area of the Irrawaddy River northwest of Naypyidaw.

MOGE recently awarded onshore exploration licenses to companies from several countries. It said they were from Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, but did not name a Chinese operator among them.

EPI Holdings' main oil and gas business activities until now have been in Argentina where it is developing several oil wells. EPI also trades in metals.

The independent firm, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, has business links with Chinese state-owned oil and gas giant Sinopec.

Sinopec is already exploring a separate onshore field in central Burma, around Pahtolon, also in the Irrawaddy River valley.

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