Myanmar govt announces 5 short-listed firms for steel plant JV

The Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry has shortlisted five companies to apply to form a joint venture with state-owned No (1) steel plant (Myingyan).
The ministry intends to restart the steel plant with the help of the private sector.
The companies selected to participate in the tender are: Sinosteel Equipment & Engineering Co Ltd, Go Excellent Myanmar Co Ltd, Millcon Thiha Co Ltd, Direct
Investment Ltd and IMR Resources (AG) India Private Ltd.

The ministry began seeking expressions of interest from both domestic and foreign investors interested in participating in the recommissioning of the Myingyan steel plant in January.The steel mill, located near Sar Khar village, Myingyan Township in Mandalay Region, is reported to have a production capacity of 1.8 million tonnes a year. Due to mounting losses, the plant was temporarily suspended by the government.
A spokesperson from No. 1 Heavy Industrial Enterprise, which controls the Myingyan steel plant, said in January that an estimated K225 billion is required to restart the plant and investors are being sought to help operate it.The government is reviving efforts to restart the local steel production industry at a time when Myanmar’s steel consumption is expected to grow in the next five years with more government spending on infrastructure and foreign direct investments expected to rise.

The South East Asia Iron and Steel Institute estimates that Myanmar’s steel demand will continue to expand at an average growth rate of 8pc a year, with steel demand in the country exceeding 3 million tonnes in 2020 and reaching 5 million tonnes in 2025.
In comparison, Singapore currently consumes nearly 5million tonnes of steel, while Thailand users about 11 million tonnes.
Consequently, the authorities are raising efforts to produce more steel domestically to reduce costs. This is because Myanmar imports 90pc of its steel requirements.

The government recently also renewed its commitment to support the local construction industry in the wake of COVID-19. Due to the outbreak of the pandemic, many
construction projects had come to a standstill as a result of cash shortages and delays in the import of construction materials.
In response, the government said it would ensure the construction sector remains open and supported. “Construction work cannot be suspended as this involves the country’s infrastructure development. We’ve permitted them to resume work as long as they abide by health guidelines,” said State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
The government will continue to roll out new infrastructure projects using state funds and international loans and approve property developments in cooperation with the private sector, she said.

Myanmar is also seeking assistance from the international community to facilitate the imports of building machinery and construction materials.
Myanmar will set standards to ensure the quality of locally produced and imported steel and iron, U Kan Chun, managing director of No.1 Heavy Industries Enterprise under the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry, told The Myanmar Times in February.

“Myanmar is the only country in ASEAN with no standards for iron and steel,” he said during a forum on the emerging metal industry in Mandalay.
The main problems for the industry now are low-priced and low-quality imports which do not last long. Local steel businesses have also expressed concern about the ability of the local industry to compete with the cheap imported products.

U Sit Taing Aung, chair of the Myanmar Steel Association, said that with basic criteria in place, the authorities can also check and minimise the use of fake products.”Our association is helping the government set such criteria. We advised the technical committee of the government by cooperating with Myanmar Iron and Steel Association. The Department of Research and Innovation under the Ministry of Education leads the operation. It has taken longer than expected but soon we will have some basic quality guidelines,” he told The Myanmar Times in February.

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Source : Myanmar Times

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