Rangoon – China has signed a 2.4-billion-dollar loan agreemen twith Burma to finance the construction of a natural gas pipeline between the countries, media reports said Sunday.
The loan was inked between the China Develoment Bank Cooperation and Burma Foreign Investment Bank on November 30 in Napyitaw, the new capital, the Myanmar Times reported.
The pipeline is to run from Rakhine State on the Burmese coast, site of the Kyauk Phyu national gas project, to Yunnan province in southern China.
“The loan will be mainly for the natural gas project in Kyauk Phyu, which involves Myanmar, China, Korea and India, where Burma has 7.3 per cent of the shares,” said Jin Honggen, economic and commercial counselor of the Chinese embassy in Rangoon.
He said the loan would help bring speed up construction of the project. Under the Burmar-China gas scheme, India is to help build a new port in Sithwe, Rakhine, to handle gas from offshore reserves and China will construct a 1,000-kilometre pipeline to deliver the gas overland to Yunnan.
“The natural gas from Burma will be used for Yunnan province’s industrial requirements and for residential use,” Jin told the MyanmarTimes.
Military-run Burma currently exports more than 1 billion cubic feet of gas (28 million cubic metres) a day of natural gas from its two offshore projects in the Gulf of Marthaban to neighbouring Thailand via an underwater and overland pipeline network.
Thailand pays a estimated 2 billion dollars a year for the gas imports.//DPA