Adani Group on Tuesday received approvals to develop a new container terminal in Myanmar as the diversified conglomerate spreads its port operations beyond Indian shores.
This will be Adani’s second international port after Australia.
It said the investment does not breach Australian, US, UN or other international sanctions against Myanmar.
“Adani rejects insinuations that this investment is unethical or will compromise human rights,” the group said in a statement. “As with all its international investments, the Adani Group has been guided by the Securities and Exchange Board of India and other key international guidelines and will inform the concerned authorities when we firm up the agreements.”
The land where the port is proposed to be built has been leased from the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC).
“An Adani Group company, the Adani Yangon International Terminal Co Ltd, has received approval from the Myanmar Investment Commission for an investment in a new container port in the Yangon Region,” the company said in a statement without giving investment it is going to make in developing the terminal to receive containers sailing on ships.
Local reports put the investment committed by Adani at $290 million.
Adani operates five ports in India including Mundra and Hazira in Gujarat and has three terminals at ports in Murmugao, Vishakhapatnam and Tuna-Tekra. It is building a container terminal at Ennore in Tamil Nadu and Vizinjham port in Kerala. It also has a port in Australia.
Adani Yangon International Terminal, a company incorporated in Singapore, received approval from the Myanmar Investment Commission on April 26 to develop, operate and maintain the Ahlone International Port Terminal-2 (AIPT-2) under a 50-year Build, Operate and Transfer agreement with the government, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).
AIPT-2 in Ahlone township by the Yangon river will be developed across 50 acres of land owned by Myanmar Economic Corporation, which is currently operating AIPT-1, according to DICA. The company will enjoy income tax incentives for the first three years of operations.
Construction of the port, which will be built from scratch, is expected to begin in September. Phase 1 of development will involve enough capacity to handle between 1 lakh and 1.5 lakh twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), or twenty-foot containers, when it is completed within the targeted 12 months.
Phase 2, which will take an additional six months to construct, is expected to take the port’s total capacity to a maximum of eight lakh TEUs.
Adani statement said the Myanmar Investment Commission is an entity of the Myanmar government that is governed by senior ministers and public servants including representatives of the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Planning and Finance, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.
The port terminal will be built under the auspices of the Myanmar Port Authority, the Myanmar Ministry of Transport and Communication, it said.
“The new container port will enable Myanmar to bring further efficiencies to the nation’s international trade by enabling cost-effective, high-volume imports and exports. This will benefit Myanmar’s civil society by contributing to the nation’s economic development and create more than 1,100 local jobs,” it said.
Adani said its investment does not breach any international sanctions against Myanmar.
“It is important to note that many economic sanctions against Myanmar were lifted in recent years (including by the USA and Australia) following political reforms within the country and the election of a civilian government,” it said.
The company added that while some nations, including Australia, have arms embargos and travel restrictions on key members of the military in place, this does not preclude investment in the nation or business dealings with corporations such as MEC.
The Group’s vision, it said, is to help build critical infrastructure for nations across key markets and help in propelling economic development and social impacts.
AIPT-2 will be part of Yangon Port cluster on Strand Road in downtown Yangon, which includes Asia World Port Terminal and Myanmar Industrial Port.
Container traffic in Myanmar is projected to grow to 20 lakh TEUs from current 12 lakh TEUs in the next few years and the new port will handle part of the traffic.