Work on Yangon Elevated Expressway to Begin Next Year, Says Minister

Naypyitaw—Construction of the Yangon Elevated Expressway project will begin next year and should be completed within three years, Deputy Construction Minister U Kyaw Lin said on Monday.

The deputy minister made the comment in response to a question from lawmaker U Nay Myo Htet about the ministry’s plan to build an inner ring-road in Yangon to ease the city’s traffic woes.

Fifty-three companies from 12 countries including Myanmar have expressed interest in the project. The ministry will invite requests for proposals in December and the later select the tender winner.

“We will start inner-ring-road construction in 2019. We won’t fund its construction. The tender winner has to build it on its own,” U Kyaw Lin told the Lower House.

Then, it can collect road tolls from users, he added.

Though the Construction Ministry said it would not use state funds to build the elevated road, it is likely it will have to take out international loans to fulfill its obligations to the project as it is a public-private partnership, said Lower House lawmaker U Aung Hline Win of Mingalardon Township.

“Usually, an elevated expressway costs around US$10 million, or around 14 billion kyats, per mile. It is such a huge amount, and it is not easy,” said U Aung Hline Win.

The Ministry of Construction inked a financial advisory services agreement (FASA) with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for the project in Napyitaw in January.

The IFC, a sister organization of the World Bank, said that as part of the transaction, it would undertake due diligence and draft an internationally competitive tender to choose a qualified, experienced private sector developer for the project.

A total of 16 local firms, 13 companies from China, seven from Japan, four from South Korea, two from Thailand, three from India, two from Turkey, one each from Vietnam, France, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, and a Malaysia-Myanmar joint venture have expressed interest in the project.

When complete, the 47.5 kilometer-long elevated expressway will connect downtown Yangon, Yangon Port, Yangon International Airport, Mingalardon Industrial Zone and Yangon-Mandalay Highway.

Source: Irrawaddy

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