Japan, Myanmar ink $445 mln loans for MR, Thilawa projects


Japan and Myanmar officials have signed an agreement to obtain the Japan ODA loan for two projects — Yangon-Mandalay railway upgrade project phase 1 (part-3) worth Yen 40.604 billion and the infrastructural development project in Thilawa phase 3 worth Yen 7.339 billion, according to the Embassy of Japan in Myanmar.
The Japanese Ambassador to Myanmar and the officials from the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry signed the loan agreement on 31 March 2020 concerning the two loan projects worth Yen 47.943 billion (approximately US$445 million).
These two projects will contribute towards the socio-economic development in Myanmar. These ODA loan projects aim to upgrade the 620 km -long railway, between Yangon and Mandalay.
Myanma Railway (MR) has upgraded the Yangon-Mandalay railway project dividing into three parts spending of JICA ODA loans and the national fund. The first part of the project between Yangon and Toungoo is about 166 miles, while the second part of the project is Toungoo-Mandalay project at a distance of about 219 miles. MR has signed an agreement with the Construction for Consultancy Service (CMC) for part 2 Toungoo-Mandalay project.
Currently, ground construction has begun for Yangon-Bago railway and Yangon circular railway project which is part of Yangon-Mandalay railway upgrading project phase 1, according to MR.
Six express trains, two mail trains, four Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw trains are running over Yangon-Mandalay railway. Upon completion of the upgrade of whole Yangon-Mandalay railway project, the trains could run at a speed of 100 kilometres per hour and more air-con coaches will be attached on the railway.
MR has targeted to complete 166-mile-long Yangon-Toungoo railway project in 2022 and 219-mile-long Toungoo-Mandalay project in 2023.
The initial five-year Yangon-Mandalay railway upgrading project (2018-2023) will cost $2.7 billion of JICA loan. —Aye Maung  (Translated by Hay Mar)

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