INTERNATIONAL CEMENT REVIEW
highways, steel mills, power plants,shipyards, refineries, pulp and paper millsand a petrochemical factory as well as twogolf courses and a holiday resort. By theend of 2012, the developers hope to havesecured US$8.5bn to finance infrastructureand utilities up to 2014, in the first stageof the build.The Dawei port will form part of a‘super corridor’ of high-speed transportstretching to Vietnam, Cambodia andThailand. Its shipping facilities will provideaccess to the Andaman Sea and IndianOcean. Italian-Thai Development hasalready completed an access road from theThai border to Dawei, about 250km westof Bangkok.Meanwhile, the recent governmentcancellation of the Thai power coal-firedpower plant for the Dawei complex willalarm prospective international investors.“The will of the people” was given asthe official reason for the government’sdecision, but it was also said to beconcerned about the plant’s environmentalimpact. It is worth noting that, with52 per cent of the country covered byforests, Myanmar is known as the ‘ForestKingdom’.Myanmar wassimilarly set to build theMyitstone dam acrossthe Irrawaddy River in Kachin state withChinese investmentcovering most of theUS$3.6bn cost, butunder pressure fromenvironmental groupsit was cancelled by thegovernment. The damwould have been partof a network of sevento provide power toindustry in southernChina.A spectacular projectthat is likely to happenis the elevated andunderground trainsystems for Yangon.International companiesare being sought outfor the constructionof these rail projects.The city is already therecipient of a newUS$100m internationalairport built by ChinaHarbour Engineering Co Ltd.China has been keen to invest inMyanmar, but in many ways is viewedlocally as a nation more concerned withprofiteering than development. By June2010, 300km of the China-Myanmar oiland gas pipeline, running from MadayIsland in southwest Myanmar to Ruili Cityin Yunnan province in China, had been laidand by 2013 it will be completed.Even if some of these mega-projectsare facing problems, urbanisationis still expected to be encouraged.The population is mainly rural andagriculture contributes about 40 per cent of Myanmar’s GDP. In January, Mr Khin Maung Myint, union minister ofconstruction, opened the first UrbanResearch and Development Institute toassist urban planning and development.
Domestic cement consumption isapproximately 5.35Mta. The Ministryof Industry has the capacity to providesome 0.65Mta and the private and semi-government sector output is around2.99Mta (see Table 1), leaving a shortfallof around 1.7Mta, which is made up byimports.
The history of Myanmar’s cement industrycan be broken down into three phases,beginning with the establishment of thefirst plants, followed by the first major expansion of the industry and entry ofprivate investors in the second phase.Finally, there is the current situation wherefurther new entrants have established newwet- and dry-process plants and manymore projects have been outlined.
Phase 1: initial factories
At the time of British rule in then-Burma,the Indo-Burma Petroleum Co (IBPCo) found the natural gas resources atPya-ye, which is about 10km south ofThayet Myo. The same company hadalready discovered a significant limestonedeposit between Pya-ye and Thayet MyoMagwe division, so it was decided to buildMyanmar’s first cement plant to use bothnatural resources.The Burma Cement Company (BCC)was therefore founded and FLSmidth Coimplemented the project. The GBP100,000investment was situated on the west bankof Irrawaddy (Ayeyawady) River, about3km south of Thayet Myo.Work started in 1935 and the plantwas commissioned on 14 August 1937with a capacity of just 200tpd. The brandname was Horse Head, which is stillused by state plants today. After gainingindependence from Britain, Myanmar’sgovernment nationalised the plant in1954. Today, state-owned Myanmar Ceramic Industries (MCI) operates thefacility under the Ministry of Industry.Due to increasing cement demand, thegovernment decided to raise Thayet’scapacity. In 1958, the 400tpd wet-processNo 2 line was supplied and commissionedby DIA Invest Export Co from EastGermany. The plant was further expandedby a new 400tpd wet-process line supplied
Mr Thein Sein, Myanmar’s president, inspectsraw material and cement samples at theNaypyidaw plant
Andaman SeaBay of Bengal
• Mandalay• Kyaukse• Pinlaung• Naypyidaw• Thayet • Kyangin• Hpa An• DaweiYangon •
Figure 1: location of cement plants in Myanmar and import trade from surrounding countries