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Economy

Myanmar container yard backed by Japan nears opening

New logistics hub near Yangon will handle rising volumes in country

The container terminal, whose completion was celebrated Dec. 14, will serve soaring shipping volumes in Myanmar. (Photo by Yuichi Nitta)

YANGON -- A container terminal built just outside of Myanmar's largest city with aid from Japan is slated to open as early as March, after its completion was celebrated Friday.

Japanese logistics company Kamigumi will operate the 25.7 billion yen ($227 million) facility near Yangon owned by Myanma Port Authority, a state agency. Yen loans offered as development aid from Japan funded 90% of the project.

The terminal with a 400-meter wharf will be able to accommodate two cargo ships at a time and is equipped to handle 200,000 twenty-foot equivalent units per year. The wharf will be extended to 1 km, with capacity quintupling to 1 million TEU, after the second and third phases of construction.

Container port traffic in Myanmar has tripled over the past five years to about 1 million units annually, and is expected to reach 3 million units over the next decade.

The terminal is near the Thilawa special economic zone, developed jointly by Japanese and Myanmar players 25 km south of central Yangon. About 100 companies operate in the zone, and half are Japanese businesses.

The Yangon Port, which has served as a key logistics hub for the city, has grown crowded of late. The new terminal is expected to improve logistics operations in the area, facilitating shipments of parts and materials to the industrial park as well as consumer goods shipments to central Yangon.

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