By Nyein Nyein
Feasibility studies are being undertaken in four regions and states as part of efforts to implement an iron and steel industrial zone, said U Sit Taing Aung, chairman of the Myanmar Steel Association (MSA).
Studies for the implementation of the iron and steel industrial zone project are under way in Ayeyawady and Taninthayi regions and Rakhine and Mon states. The project is slated to commence three to five year after the studies are completed, he said.
At present, Myanmar’s steel demand is estimated at about 2.5 million tons, 92 per cent of which is imported. The demand is likely to grow to 5.4 million tons per year by 2030, according to the MSA.
Myanmar imported steel worth US$1.7 billion from
foreign countries in the previous FY, MSA data showed.
“If Myanmar can fulfill the requirements of local steel consumption and focus on import substitution, the steel industry will strategically contribute to national interest. Steel consumption is included in calculations of economic growth,” said U Sit Taing Aung.
“Having said that, 11 executive members of the MSA have established the MSA Public Company Limited, and they are making efforts to set up an iron and steel industrial zone with a view to reducing the outflow of US dollars, bringing about the development of the steel industry, and assisting in the country’s infrastructure building effort,” he said.
“We hope the locals near the project area can benefit from it. The industrial zone is expected to create job opportunities for locals and offer vocational training courses,” he added.
In addition, the MSA said it is prioritizing responsible business and therefore, it is carrying out Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) of projects with the help of experts.
According to the MSA, the government needs to support the steel sector by granting tax relief and land rights, control illegal imports, implement the anti-dumping law, and formulate a steel policy.
“The steel industry is pivotal to industrial infrastructure building. This project needs to be implemented for future progress of the country’s economy,” said U Sit Taing Aung.
The MSA will move forward with the development of industrial standards which are compatible with the country and the emergence of a steel library and steel laboratory. The association will work with international organizations for the growth of the steel sector, he added.
China is the main supplier of steel to Myanmar. Iron and steel are also imported from India and the Republic of Korea. (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)