Japan’s IHI inaugurates heavy concrete factory joint venture in Myanmar

IHI Corp. held an opening ceremony Sunday for its heavy concrete factory in Myanmar, becoming the first Japanese plant producing pre-stressed concrete products in Southeast Asia’s newest emerging market.

The Tokyo-based heavy industry company, in partnership with Myanmar’s Construction Ministry, opened the $12.2 million facility in the Myaungdagar Steel Industrial Zone in Hmawbi, located about 50 km northwest of the country’s commercial capital, Yangon.

The factory is operating under I&H Engineering Co., a joint venture between the ministry’s Highways Department and IHI Asia-Pacific Pte. Ltd., the Japanese company’s Singapore subsidiary.

The facility, built on a 65,272-sq.-meter plot and already operating with over 60 workers since early April, has an annual capacity to produce 50,000 to 70,000 tons of pre-stressed concrete products such as bridge girders and spun pile, according to the company.

Speaking at the ceremony, IHI President Tsugio Mitsuoka said a steady supply of concrete is crucial for Myanmar as new infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and buildings are indispensable for its future development.

He said there is great potential demand for pre-stressed concrete products in Myanmar, which, like Japan, is prone to earthquakes.

Construction Minister Win Khaing said the Japanese factory is much welcomed, as is the transfer of advanced technology that will help the domestic construction industry.

“Japan is one of the most supportive and friendly countries to Myanmar for our private and public sectors,” he said.

Within a few weeks, the factory will begin supplying pre-stressed concrete products to a Japanese-financed port project linked to the Japan-backed Thilawa Special Economic Zone in Yangon’s southern outskirts, according to company officials.

Myanmar is currently in a period of transition from decades of military rule to a democracy and its lack of proper infrastructure is proving to be a major obstacle to attracting foreign investments for the development of the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia.

Source: Japantimes

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