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Italian-Thai to develop US$500m LNG terminal in Myanmar's Dawei

[BANGKOK] Thailand's leading construction firm Italian-Thai Development PCL said on Friday it was in talks with Myanmar authorities to build a US$500 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal at Dawei industrial zone in southern Myanmar.

The LNG plan is part of US$1.7 billion deal to develop the first phase of the long-delayed Dawei project, which includes a US$500 million, 450-megawatt gas-fired power plant, the company's president Premchai Karnasuta told a news conference.

Dawei is arguably Southeast Asia's most ambitious industrial zone - a 250-sq-km (100-sq-mile) deep-sea port, petrochemical and heavy industry hub along the slim Thai-Myanmar peninsula.

The World Bank and its private sector investment arm, the International Finance Corporation, will provide loans for the LNG terminal, which will have annual capacity of 6 million tonnes, Premchai said. "We can start building the LNG terminal after we receive an approval on environment impact assessment," he said, adding Thailand's largest energy firm PTT and a unit of Royal Dutch Shell will be two main customers.

They will each have capacity to import 3 million tonnes per year of LNG through the terminal, he said.

On Wednesday, Italian-Thai and its partners including Rojana Industrial Park PCL signed concession agreements with Dawei Special Economic Zone management committee to develop the initial phase of the project.

The project's first phase is set to include a 27-square-km industrial estate and will begin with the construction of a 138-km (86 mile) road from Dawei to Thailand's Kanchanaburi province, 119 km northwest of Bangkok.

Italian-Thai also received the right to develop an additional 8 sq km of industrial land areas and the company aimed to sell about 20 per cent of land ares by 2016, which should create revenue of 10 billion baht ($284 million), Premchai said.

Premchai said Italian-Thai revenue is expected to reach 70-80 billion baht in 2016 when it begins booking revenue from the Dawei project.

Italian-Thai has construction jobs on hands of about 300 billion baht, which the company will gradually book for revenue over the next three years, he said.