Sunday, August 20, 2017

Awba Group pesticide factory operational by April

Myanmar Awba Group has started work on building an IFC-financed agricultural pesticide factory, with phase one of construction scheduled to finish in April next year.

U Nyan Lyin Phyo, chief executive officer of Piti Pyaeson company, which is part of the Myanmar Awba Group, said that when the first phase finishes the facility would begin operating, although at less than half of total capacity.

The Myanmar Awba agriculture pesticide factory will produce both liquid and powder-based pesticides, and “when phase one is done we’ll be producing about 3 million litres of liquid pesticide and more than 2 million kilos of power,” he said

The whole project will not be completed until 2020, but when it is the group hopes the factory will “supply around 50 percent of the country’s agricultural pesticide demand,” said U Nyan Lyin Phyo adding that some 400 to 500 staff would eventually be employed.

The factory will be based in Hmawbi Township on a 130 acre plot of land granted by the government, and is part of the group’s planned Hmawbi Agricultural Input Complex. The group will rent the land on a build, operate, transfer model from the government.

Myanmar Awba will invest $15 million in the project, of which $10 million will come from a convertible loan from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.

The IFC announced the loan in September, saying that the project will be “a state-of-the-art formulation plant for crop protection products”.

“It will be the first and only modern crop protection plant in Myanmar that meets clear environmental criteria set by the World Bank Group to date,” the IFC said.

Locals in Warnatchaung village next to the production facility have protested against the factory, but U Nyan Lyin Phyo said construction would go ahead regardless because the group was following correct procedure.

“We’re building the factory after applying and receiving the official permits and building in the prescribed areas,” he said. “So we can accept the local villagers are critical and we will explain the reality to them but we won’t stop the project. There are no residents within one mile of the factory so it will not affect people.”