IFC backs second port project in Myanmar

The World Bank affiliate is investing $3.85m in an inland development through its global infra development fund.

The International Finance Corporation is providing $3.85 million for the development of Semeikhon River Port, according to a project disclosure released last Friday. 

The project is an inland port facility to be co-developed by the IFC and Mandalay Myotha Industrial Development Public Company. MMID is the master developer of the Semeikhon Port and nearby Myotha Industrial Park. The port is expected to facilitate river transportation of goods and products from the 10,000-acre industrial park and its surrounding areas. 

In the first phase of the project, IFC InfraVentures will also contribute up to $3.85 million to fund the development of the port, which includes a floating berth, and barges and cranes to handle 200,000 tonnes of general cargo, containers and roll-on-roll-off cargoes. This funding will provide IFC InfraVentures with the right to an equity stake in the project at financial close. 

“Upon its completion, the project will support Mandalay’s economic growth by facilitating trade in the region, as it would be the first of its kind, a modern inland water port to bolster Myanmar’s water transport sector,” said IFC in the disclosure. 

IFC InfraVentures is a $150 million global infrastructure project development fund with a mandate to increase the pipeline of bankable projects in developing countries. 

While the IFC commitment is pending disbursement, the project sponsor has commissioned works including detailed environmental and social impact assessment, assessment of land acquisition activities and developing an implementation plan for land acquisition. MMID is also looking to build an in-house team to oversee the environmental and social assessments. 

MMID was founded in 2013 by local entrepreneur U Aung Win Khaing through conglomerate Royal Hi-Tech Group. The parent group’s business interests include value-added timber production, cement and iron foundry. 

In June last year, IFC also supported the expansions of the Myanmar Industrial Port which commenced operations in 2003 and is located along the Yangon River in central Yangon. In addition to a combined $80 million loan from IFC, the multilateral also mobilised $120 million of parallel loans from other lenders.