Myanmar to privatize petroleum product distribution and sales via new entity

Myanmar will privatize a state-owned petroleum products sales company operating under the Energy Ministry as early as this year, according to Japan’s Nikkei Report. The government has approached Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan, Thailand’s state-owned oil and gas company PTT Plc and Switzerland’s Puma Energy as potential investors in the new entity.

Myanmar Petroleum Products Enterprise is the state-owned organization vested with the authority and responsibility to carry out retail and wholesale distribution of petroleum products in Myanmar. It has four main fuel terminals, 26 sub-fuel terminals, 11 aviation depots and 256 filling stations.

Myanmar lacks modern, high-capacity oil refineries, so it relies mostly on imports for petroleum products. The government hopes to improve the situation by creating the new entity.

The government said it is willing to provide land and existing facilities to the joint venture, while the foreign partner provides technology and funding.

The size and structure of the new entity is still to be determined, but Nikkei reported an investment figure of about JPY 100 billion yen (USD 827 million), should a new refinery be constructed.

Under Myanmar’s military regime, state-owned companies dominated sectors such as energy, resource development and heavy industry. But their lack of funds and access to technology has inhibited the country’s economic growth.

The current government is working to modernize the energy sector through privatization and attracting foreign capital. The energy ministry also is said to considering foreign investors to construct and operate oil refineries in the country.

Myanmar, which has a population of about 51 million people, is bordered by Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. One-third of Burma’s total perimeter of 1,930 km (1,200 miles) forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.

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