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China-Myanmar joint pipeline starts delivering gas


08-06-2014 13:11 BJT

An oil pipeline connecting Myanmar’s western coast and China’s southwestern Yunan Province has been completed and is expected to begin operating later this year. It is one of two pipelines built by the China-Myanmar Pipeline Project. The other — a gas pipeline that runs parallel to it — began operating last year. The project is expected to benefit more than 100 million people in the two countries.

Twenty-seven-year-old Kania Aung checks gas pipes to make sure there is no leakage. He is one of six local employees working at the Mandalay off-take station of the project.

Six companies from China, Myanmar, South Korea, and India have created two joint companies to develop the project. And China National Petroleum Corporation, or CNPC, is the controlling party of the joint venture.

The two pipelines are expected to provide Myanmar with 2 million tons of crude oil and 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually. Thirty years from now, the two pipelines will be transferred to the Myanmar government, becoming part of the country’s national assets.

Xinhua, vice president of South-East Asia Gas and Crude Oil Pipeline Co. Ltd., said that CNPC has invested around US$15 million into local public welfare projects, including power plants, medical treatment, and education. Myanmar is still a relatively poor country, but its economic potential has been enhanced by access to foreign resources, in the form of trade, foreign investment, and multilateral assistance.

Last year, outside firms invest a record-breaking US$3.5 billion into Myanmar. And there was more than US$1 billion in foreign direct investment in the first two months of the current fiscal year.

It will be difficult for Myanmar to quickly establish a business environment in which foreign investors such as CNPC can have immediate and total confidence. But as Myanmar is determined to open up, the country is keen to see foreign investors help lift its economic performance to its full potential.

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