Infrastructure Update: October 15, 2019

Infrastructure Update | October 15, 2019
Authors: Sunita Kapoor, Jack Myint and Jacob Corfman
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

EU-Japan Sign Infrastructure Development Agreement Intended as Alternative to China’s BRI

On September 27, the European Union (EU) and Japan signed an infrastructure deal aimed at boosting connectivity between Europe and Asia through sectors such as transportation, energy and digital services. The plan is backed by a US$65.4 billion EU guarantee fund in order to attract more investments from development banks and private investors. During the announcement, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker refrained from mentioning China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by name, but it was alluded to several times. For instance, Juncker stated that “Connectivity must be sustainable in financial terms” and not to create “mountains of debt.” He went on to argue that infrastructure should create “interconnections between all countries in the world and not merely dependence on one country.” Prime Minister Abe followed that the Indo-Pacific must be “free and open” for connectivity to work. Both leaders stressed the importance of environmental and financial stability, and their priorities to foster “free and open” trade among mutually beneficial relationships.

Although a large number, US$65.4 billion does not stack up to the amount of money being funneled into China’s BRI. Japan alone in Southeast Asia has invested a total of US$367 billion in the region, which tops China’s total investment of US$255 billion by nearly 45 percent. Despite this, Japan has struggled to draw as much attention to its investments and projects in the region as China, which has been successful in raising awareness of its BRI brand. Japan, which is attempting to push its version of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy, positioning it as an alternative to China’s BRI, likely sees partnering with the EU as a way to strengthen its brand while increasing capacity and financing capabilities.

ADB and Singapore’s Infrastructure Asia Sign Pact Establishing Innovative Finance Lab for Sustainable Infrastructure

On October 2, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Singaporean agency Infrastructure Asia signed an infrastructure funding and development pact that will assist Southeast Asian governments in finding innovative and green finance approaches towards developing sustainable infrastructure projects. The signing occurred during the Asia Infrastructure Forum in Singapore, with Director General for Southeast Asia Mr. Ramesh Subramaniam representing the ADB and Executive Director Mr. Seth Tan representing Infrastructure Asia. According to Mr. Tan, the pact “will work in close consultation with the international financing, credit enhancement, and technology ecosystem in Singapore to improve municipalities and State-owned Enterprises (SOE)’s access to private capital.” In other words, the pact will allow ADB and Infrastructure Asia to help SOEs, regional governments and municipal governments of Southeast Asia to improve institutional, financial, and governance capacities for furthering the development of green and sustainable infrastructure projects.

The pact will launch the Innovative Finance Lab for Sustainable Infrastructure, which will be a virtual space supported by a biannual event hosted in Singapore. It will act to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, improvement of policy-making capabilities, and encourage and make accessible the adoption of innovative and green finance models in local infrastructure projects. The Lab will serve as a building platform for the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF), which was launched in April 2019 to bolster development of green infrastructure projects in the region. The lab will also be a part of the Green and Inclusive Infrastructure Window, the regional financing initiative established in 2011 which over time has committed US$520 million towards energy, transport, water, and urban infrastructure projects. ADB and Infrastructure Asia report that they plan for ACGF to accumulate up to US$1.3 billion through this pact.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Regional Affairs
EU-Japan take on China's BRI with own Silk Road
How BRI Participants Can Build a Cleaner ‘New Silk Road’

Cambodia
Japan to provide $26 million grant for PP sewage infrastructure

Indonesia
Indonesia expands horizons to US for infrastructure funding
Indonesia Adds Value to Mining Industry, Invests in Downstream Processing Facilities
Strengthening the disaster resilience of Indonesian cities
CPPIB to make first infrastructure investment in Indonesia
Massive infrastructure needed before East Kalimantan is ready to host Indonesia's new capital
Construction of Jakarta-Surabaya Medium-Speed Railway to Start in 2022

Laos
‘Infrastructure, tourism key for Laos’ economic growth’
Transport infrastructure: Connecting the world
Villagers in Laos Resist 50-year Land Concession to Thai Developer

Malaysia
‘Toll abolition not possible’
M’sia to be among first in Asia to roll out 5g demo projects
Dr M: we will study all offers for PLUS Malaysia takeover
Malaysia Wants To Slap Grab With $20M Fine 
Sabah drafting development plans of areas bordering Indonesia

Myanmar
Myanmar, Thailand accelerate plans to link, electrify Dawei SEZ
Renewed conflict in Myanmar slows China's Belt and Road projects
Five-year plan for BRI projects in Myanmar
Picking up speed on Yangon’s Circular Railway

Philippines
New Ports Lure Asia’s Biggest Cruise Ship to the Philippines
PHL among infra-challenged countries–ADB
Solon urges gov’t to replicate Malaysia’s SMART tunnel
Duterte invites Russian firms to join PH infrastructure program
Expat Pinoy engineers to come home to build Metro Manila Subway: DOTr
Top Philippine presidential aide insists 'no transport crisis' in Manila even after 4-hour commute
Manila Water says it complied with Clean Water Act - Jonathan L. Mayuga
Maynilad allots P53B for new sewer lines | BusinessWorld
RSA will focus on Bulacan Airport - Ma. Stella F. Arnaldo
DoTr to focus on railway dev’t in 2020
Foreign investments key to infra growth
UPS gets government approval to become a drone airline
Revival of Manila tram system eyed

Singapore
Connected, optimised infrastructure will help electric vehicles take off here
Asia Infrastructure Forum held in Singapore to push forward regional infrastructure development
Singapore is world's smartest city: IMD Smart City Index
ADB, Infrastructure Asia sign infrastructure funding and development pact
Singapore well-positioned to contribute expertise to infrastructure in region: Infrastructure Asia chief

Thailand
Transport Ministry seeks to revise Bt122-bn Orange line project
CP Group, SRT signing of train contract again deferred
Construction industry worth Bt1.4 trillion: TCA
BoI begins railway perks
SMART visa to enhance Thai industries
Analysis: Southeast Asia's LNG balancing role in focus, as Thailand agrees import capacity expansion
Prayut touts Thailand's growth trend

Vietnam
Vietnam holds ceremony for first smart city project in Hanoi
ADB finances Vietnam’s first large-scale floating solar plant
Banks to guarantee funds for North-South expy project
Gov’t approves funding for Trung Luong-My Thuan expressway project
PM urges completion of delayed expressway
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

EU-Japan take on China's BRI with own Silk Road DW.COM 8th Oct 2019
The European Union and Japan, which signed a free trade deal last year, have agreed to build infrastructure in sectors such as transportation, energy and digital services to improve connectivity between Europe and Asia. The agreement is part of a broader EU plan to strengthen economic and cultural ties between the two regions. The infrastructure building will be backed by a €60 billion ($65.48 billion) EU guarantee fund, which the bloc says would be used to attract further investments from development banks and private investors.

How BRI Participants Can Build a Cleaner ‘New Silk Road’ Sixth Tone 7th Oct 2019
... the infrastructure-centric nature of the BRI, together with the vast sums of money involved and the lax local regulatory environments of many BRI partner states, pose a challenge to anti-corruption efforts — both in China and around the world. If we do not take these problems seriously and address them promptly, they could put the integrity of the broader project at risk.

Cambodia

Japan to provide $26 million grant for PP sewage infrastructure Phnom Penh Post 8th Oct 2019
Japan has awarded Cambodia a 2.77 billion yen ($25.9 million) grant for a sewer development project in Phnom Penh to help ease flooding in parts of the capital, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said on Wednesday.

Indonesia

Indonesia expands horizons to US for infrastructure funding The Jakarta Post 4th Oct 2019
The government has set its sights on diversifying its funding sources for big ticket infrastructure projects to the United States after earlier this year proposing $91.1 billion infrastructure projects to be funded by China.

Indonesia Adds Value to Mining Industry, Invests in Downstream Processing Facilities Business Wire 4th Oct 2019
Creating mining and minerals processing infrastructure to increase Indonesia’s mineral value while strengthening downstream processing capabilities has been at the core of the Indonesian mining authority and mineral export laws since 2009.

Strengthening the disaster resilience of Indonesian cities ReliefWeb 4th Oct 2019
*World Bank Report* -- The objective of this policy note is to influence the ongoing discussion on how urbanization can contribute to improving disaster resilience. Particularly, this note seeks to raise awareness of some of the opportunities to reduce the vulnerability of Indonesian cites and their dwellers.

CPPIB to make first infrastructure investment in Indonesia Pensions & Investments 4th Oct 2019
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto, will make its first infrastructure investment in Indonesia in a deal to acquire a minority stake in a private toll road operator in the country, a spokesman for the pension fund said Friday.

Massive infrastructure needed before East Kalimantan is ready to host Indonesia's new capital The Business Times 27th Sep 2019
East Kalimantan still needs massive infrastructure and facility developments before it is ready to support operations as the new capital. This will require intensive capital investment from both the private and public sectors.

Construction of Jakarta-Surabaya Medium-Speed Railway to Start in 2022 Jakarta Globe 27th Sep 2019
The government plans to start construction of a 715-kilometer railway line between Jakarta and Surabaya, East Java, in 2022, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said Tuesday.

Laos

‘Infrastructure, tourism key for Laos’ economic growth’ Phnom Penh Post 8th Oct 2019
“Several key elements are required for tourism promotion in Laos – infrastructure development, tourism campaign investment and regulation of entry fees at tourist sites.”

Transport infrastructure: Connecting the world KHL 8th Oct 2019
Transport construction, such as roads, railways, airports and ports, are key components of the global infrastructure industry. According to information from GlobalData, global infrastructure construction is forecast to grow by 4.8% on an annual average basis in real terms between 2019 and 2023, with this growth driven largely by Asia.

Villagers in Laos Resist 50-year Land Concession to Thai Developer Radio Free Asia 1st Oct 2019
Residents of seven villages in Laos’ Luang Namtha province are resisting a 7,000-hectare land concession granted to a Thai company that would force them to relocate.

Malaysia

‘Toll abolition not possible’ The Star Online 8th Oct 2019
Highway tolls cannot be abolished immediately because studies show that it requires a government buyout, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

M’sia to be among first in Asia to roll out 5g demo projects Daily Expres 8th Oct 2019
Malaysia is set to be among the first in Asia to deploy the fifth generation network (5G) technology with the nationwide roll-out of 5G project demonstrations next month.

Dr M: we will study all offers for PLUS Malaysia takeover The Star Online 7th Oct 2019
The government will study any proposal to acquire PLUS Malaysia Bhd, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. "Any offers by anyone will be studied by the government. If it's suitable with our demands, we will entertain them," he said to reporters during a press conference in Parliament lobby on Monday (Oct 7). Dr Mahathir was responding to Malaysian-led Hong Kong-based private equity firm RRJ Capital, which was reported to have laid out a revised proposal to the government to acquire PLUS Malaysia Bhd for RM3.5bil.

Malaysia Wants To Slap Grab With $20M Fine  PYMNTS.com 3rd Oct 2019
The Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) ruled that Singapore-based Grab is in violation of competition laws and is considering slapping them with a $20.5 million fine, Reutersreported on Wednesday (Oct. 2).

Sabah drafting development plans of areas bordering Indonesia Malay Mail 2nd Oct 2019
The Sabah government will begin work to draw up plans to develop areas bordering Indonesia to ensure a complete infrastructure can be created in line with Indonesia’s plan to relocate its capital to Kalimantan.

Myanmar

Myanmar, Thailand accelerate plans to link, electrify Dawei SEZ The Myanmar Times 7th Oct 2019
Basic infrastructure such as roads connecting the SEZ to Thailand and necessities like electricity will be prioritised and carried out simultaneously with as little delay in between as possible, said U Tun Naing, Deputy Minister for Ministry of Electricity and Energy and chair of the Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee.

Renewed conflict in Myanmar slows China's Belt and Road projects Nikkei Asian Review 6th Oct 2019
A recent decision by the Myanmar military, or Tatmadaw, not to extend a cease-fire aimed at ethnic armed organizations excluded from a nationwide peace agreement puts the country's Belt and Road projects in further limbo.

Five-year plan for BRI projects in Myanmar The Myanmar Times 27th Sep 2019
Negotiations to draw up the plan were held in Nay Pyi Taw on Monday, the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations announced.

Picking up speed on Yangon’s Circular Railway Frontier Myanmar 30th Sep 2019
A RIDE on Yangon’s Circular Railway offers a fascinating if bumpy tour around the commercial capital in the company of passengers from all walks of life, including commuters, vendors and beggars. The 46-kilometre line, with 38 stops, also provides a glimpse of the daily lives of the city’s residents during a round-trip that passes through satellite towns and suburbs, some very poor, that takes about three hours. The round-trip fare for Myanmar is K100 and foreigners pay K300. The Circular Railway began operating in 1954. For most of its 65 years, improvements to service have been slow. U Zaw Lwin, the traffic manager of the Circular Railway, told Frontier that 13 of the 21 trains on the route are more than 50 years old. The few improvements to carriages include the replacement of old, broken wooden seats with those made of fibreglass.

Philippines

New Ports Lure Asia’s Biggest Cruise Ship to the Philippines Yahoo! Finance 8th Oct 2019
The Philippines, a country of more than 7,600 islands where you’re rarely more than a few miles from the sea, wants a bigger slice of Asia’s growing cruise-tourism industry.

PHL among infra-challenged countries–ADB BusinessMirror 7th Oct 2019
POOR infrastructure continues to hinder the Philippines from maximizing its manufacturing potential, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Solon urges gov’t to replicate Malaysia’s SMART tunnel Manila Bulletin News 6th Oct 2019
Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo urged Sunday the government to look into the feasibility of replicating Kuala Lumpur’s Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) to address the worsening traffic situation along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA).

Duterte invites Russian firms to join PH infrastructure program Rappler 6th Oct 2019
President Rodrigo Duterte has invited Russian companies to participate in the Philippines' infrastructure program, particularly in transportation and railway construction projects.

Expat Pinoy engineers to come home to build Metro Manila Subway: DOTr ABS-CBN News 3rd Oct 2019
Dozens of Filipino engineers who are currently working on rail projects abroad are willing to go back to the Philippines to help build railways, particularly the Metro Manila Subway, the country's transportation secretary said on Thursday.

Top Philippine presidential aide insists 'no transport crisis' in Manila even after 4-hour commute The Straits Times 11th Oct 2019
It took President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman nearly four hours to commute from his home to his office 20km away on Friday (Oct 11) in a much-ballyhooed publicity stunt to prove a point. Flying from Manila to Singapore takes less time, and Mr Salvador Panelo probably would have reached his destination earlier had he walked all the way. Still, he insisted there was no "mass transport crisis" in Metro Manila.

Manila Water says it complied with Clean Water Act - Jonathan L. Mayuga BusinessMirror 10th Oct 2019
MANILA Water on Wednesday insisted that it has complied with its responsibilities under the Clean Water Act and should not be fined a total of P921 million. Manila Water filed a motion for reconsideration last week. The water concessionaire for the East Zone said there is no basis for the Supreme Court’s 2019 decision, slapping the company with the huge penalty for failing to complete its sewerage projects by 2009—or five years after the Clean Water Act took effect—and an additional running daily fine of P322,102 until the sewerage project is completed. It warned that should it be compelled to pay the fine and complete the sewerage projects, water rates could go up by 780 percent or by as much as P26.70 per cubic meter.

Maynilad allots P53B for new sewer lines | BusinessWorld Business World 10th Oct 2019
MAYNILAD Water Services, Inc. has allocated more than P53.4 billion to install new sewer lines spanning up to 425 kilometers starting next year until the end of its concession in 2037 to ensure the provision of sewerage services for its customers in the west zone. “Sewer pipes have to be laid at a lower depth compared to water pipes — some as deep as fourteen meters below ground level — so wastewater projects take a longer time to complete,” said Randolph T. Estrellado, Maynilad chief operating officer, in a statement on Wednesday. He warned that the installation of the sewer network may cause some inconvenience to motorists. “To minimize traffic congestion in our project sites, we will use trenchless technology where feasible, although said technology will significantly increase the cost to install the sewer network,” he said.

RSA will focus on Bulacan Airport - Ma. Stella F. Arnaldo BusinessMirror 8th Oct 2019
The business tycoon and president of food and beverage giant San Miguel Corp. told the BusinessMirror in Filipino, “No. I won’t pursue any more airport projects. I just want to concentrate on the Bulacan airport so we can finish it quickly.” San Miguel’s $15-billion international airport in Bulacan was recently given the go-ahead by the government, and is projected to be completed by 2025 once it starts construction this year. Previous published reports quoted Ang as saying he was also interested in constructing, upgrading, or operating/maintaining provincial airports, such as those in Bacolod, Davao, Iloilo, Laguindingan, and Bohol.

DoTr to focus on railway dev’t in 2020 Business World 6th Oct 2019
RAILWAY PROJECTS are taking center stage next year as the sector will account for bulk of the Department of Transportation’s (DoTr) proposed budget for 2020. The department presented to the Senate on Thursday its P147-billion proposed spending plan for next year, where P108 billion will be spent on projects, of which 99% will be spent on railways. The Senate Committee on Finance approved the budget, which will now be taken up at the plenary. Approximately P106.7 billion of DoTr’s approved budget for projects will go to railways, followed by P507.5 million for the maritime sector, P346.5 million for the aviation sector and P101 million for roads. About P360.6 million of the budget will go to other projects.

Foreign investments key to infra growth The Manila Times 5th Oct 2019
A Fitch Group unit on Friday highlighted the importance of private and foreign investments for the Philippines’ flagship infrastructure program. “The Philippines’ infrastructure needs will be partially met by President Rodrigo Duterte’s Build Build Build program, but its large infrastructure deficit means that the country will have to attract more private and foreign investments into the sector to close the gap,” Fitch Solutions said in a report. Large-scale infrastructure development is a priority for the current administration under Build Build Build, which includes 75 priority projects.

UPS gets government approval to become a drone airline daily Inquirer 2nd Oct 2019
UPS has won government approval to operate a nationwide fleet of drones, which will let the company expand deliveries on hospital campuses and move it one step closer to making deliveries to consumers. Many regulatory obstacles remain, however, before UPS — or other operators who are testing drones — can fill the sky over cities and suburbs with drones carrying goods to people’s doorsteps. United Parcel Service Inc. said Tuesday that its drone subsidiary was awarded an airline certificate last week by the Federal Aviation Administration, the first U.S. company to get such a broad approval. Even before getting that designation, UPS Flight Forward, as the subsidiary is called, has operated more than 1,000 flights at WakeMed’s hospital campus in Raleigh, North Carolina. The designation removes limits on the size of the company’s potential drone operation. Flight Forward can fly an unlimited number of drones, a key step toward expanding the operation. It can also fly drones at night — the company plans to do that after installing the necessary colored warning lights on each machine.

Revival of Manila tram system eyed Daily Inquirer 2nd Oct 2019
A consortium led by Greenergy Holdings Inc. is keen on investing close to $500 million to build a tram system in the city of Manila along a 10-kilometer stretch of Roxas Boulevard’s service road, the same route plied by the old street tram in the early 1900s.In an interview at the sidelines of Philippine Infradev Holdings Inc.’s stockholders meeting, Greenergy chair Antonio Tiu said Greenergy has submitted a letter of intent (LOI) to the local government unit of Manila to build the tram under a joint venture agreement. Greenergy will spearhead this tram consortium while Philippine Infradev will focus on its Makati subway project. Ultimately, the tram system is seen to feed volume into the upcoming subway.

Singapore

Connected, optimised infrastructure will help electric vehicles take off here The Business Times 8th Oct 2019
The arrival of electric vehicles (EV) is a disruptive influence on urban mobility, and presents an opportunity to transform how we live, work and play. The emerging EV revolution could improve the quality of life in Singapore - if we get it right.

Asia Infrastructure Forum held in Singapore to push forward regional infrastructure development Xinhua 3rd Oct 2019
Delegates from multilateral development banks and governments have discussed ways of meeting the growing regional infrastructure needs at the Asia Infrastructure Forum which concluded here Thursday.

Singapore is world's smartest city: IMD Smart City Index The Straits Times 3rd Oct 2019
Published by Swiss business school IMD and the Singapore University of Technology and Design, the index ranked cities in terms of how "smart" they are, which in this case was defined as an urban setting that applies technology to enhance the benefits and diminish the shortcomings of urbanization.

ADB, Infrastructure Asia sign infrastructure funding and development pact BusinessMirror 3rd Oct 2019
IN a bid to plug Southeast Asia’s infrastructure deficit, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Singapore-based Infrastructure Asia have signed an agreement to develop bankable and sustainable infrastructure projects in the region.

Singapore well-positioned to contribute expertise to infrastructure in region: Infrastructure Asia chief The Straits Times 2nd Oct 2019
Mention infrastructure in Singapore, and one might think of Jewel at Changi Airport, or the Greater Southern Waterfront development announced in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's recent National Day Rally. But the city-state is looking beyond its shores to export its infrastructure expertise. Since October last year, Infrastructure Asia (IA), which is jointly set up by Enterprise Singapore and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, has met more than 300 international developers, financial institutions and multilateral development banks to broker deals and share best practices in the region

Thailand

Transport Ministry seeks to revise Bt122-bn Orange line project The Nation Thailand 8th Oct 2019
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anuthin Charnvirakul said the Transport Ministry has proposed a revision of the Bt122-billion Orange mass transit line project - running from Thailand Cultural Centre to Bang Khun Non in Thonburi, west of Bangkok. It was approved by the previous government but bidding has not been called.  The former junta-backed government designated the project a public-private partnership (PPP), coming under a single contract for both construction and operation. It planned to start public services of the orange line in 2026.

CP Group, SRT signing of train contract again deferred Bangkok Post 8th Oct 2019
CP Group, SRT signing of train contract again deferred The signing of a 224 billion baht contract between the State Railway of Thailand and Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group faces another delay following the resignation of the entire SRT board only two weeks before the scheduled closure. Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said on Monday the Transport Ministry had decided to defer the the signing of the contract from Oct 15 to Oct 25 after the SRT board members all stepped down last week, on Oct 1. The ministry needs the new SRT board to be in place first, to avoid the possibility of the contract being invalidated if they ink the agreement in its absence, he said.

Construction industry worth Bt1.4 trillion: TCA The Nation Thailand 8th Oct 2019
The construction industry has reached a net worth of Bt1.4 trillion, said the Thai Contractors Association (TCA), adding that the association would keep expanding development projects and managing contracts more effectively. “We are promoting the use of innovation and technologies in construction, such as building information modelling,” TCA president Angsuras Areekul said. “The industry this year is expected to maintain growth due to a number of positive factors, especially the government’s transportation infrastructure and condominiums along Skytrain stations,” he said.

BoI begins railway perks Bangkok Post 7th Oct 2019
The Board of Investment (BoI) is offering investment packages for rail operators to support a new supply chain for train and railway components in the future. The government is expanding railway megaprojects such as mass transit monorail, as well as intercity high-speed and double-track railways. Bonggot Anuroj, the BoI's deputy secretary-general, said Thailand should be the hub of an Asean railway system, connecting with neighbouring countries and improving transport and logistics systems.

SMART visa to enhance Thai industries The ASEAN Post 4th Oct 2019
High level executives, investors or professionals in industries of the future like aerospace, automation and biofuels can now live and work in Thailand under a new visa scheme called the SMART visa. This new visa bracket is aimed at encouraging more investment and expertise in 10 targeted technology and knowledge based industries which have seen significantly higher growth rates in these past few years. Holders of the SMART visa would not need a work permit and their visa validity period would be four years. Their dependents would also be able to enjoy similar privileges under the program. Moreover, those with a SMART visa only need to report to the immigration authorities once every year as opposed to once every 90 days under current rules.

Analysis: Southeast Asia's LNG balancing role in focus, as Thailand agrees import capacity expansion S&P Global 2nd Oct 2019
Thailand's Map Ta Phut phase 3 expansion has turned focus to Southeast Asia's demand growth potential and future balancing role in global LNG, as oversupply concerns extend into the mid-2020s. Thailand's Gulf PTT Tank Consortium signed a 30-year contract with the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) on Tuesday for the third phase of the Map Ta Phut LNG terminal, which would add 5 million mt/year of import capacity from 2025 before ramping up to 10.8 million mt/year. Map Ta Phut, Thailand's only LNG terminal, has a current capacity of 10 million mt/year and received 4.4 million mt in 2018, with S&P Global Platts Analytics forecasting the country's consumption to rise to nearly 10 million mt/year by 2022.

Prayut touts Thailand's growth trend Bangkok Post 2nd Oct 2019
On the sidelines of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expressed confidence Thailand will become a high-income nation in 17 years. In his speech, Gen Prayut said he has laid the foundation for development over the past five years and moved the country forward under the leadership of an elected government. "It has a high working-age population, above-average economic growth, and the region itself is manufacturing hub," he said. As the current chair of Asean, Gen Prayut said Thailand will push for an immediate conclusion to the RCEP negotiations and improved connectivity through infrastructure and capacity-building projects.

Vietnam

Vietnam holds ceremony for first smart city project in Hanoi OpenGov Asia 8th Oct 2019
A ceremony was held for the Nhat Tan-Noi Bai smart city project in Hanoi, earlier this week. The project is backed by the Hanoi’s People’s Committee, BRG Group, and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation Group. It is the first smart city project in Hanoi.

ADB finances Vietnam’s first large-scale floating solar plant PV Tech 2nd Oct 2019
Vietnamese firm Da Nhim–Ham Thuan–Da Mi (DHD), a subsidiary of national utility EVN, has bagged a US$37 million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a 47.5MW floating solar project that is claimed to be the first and largest such project in the Southeast Asian nation.

Banks to guarantee funds for North-South expy project The Saigon Times 2nd Oct 2019
Banks will fund the North-South Expressway project, under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) format, Dao Minh Tu, deputy governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), told a press briefing on October 1. Besides this, Tu noted that the relevant ministries and departments should issue detailed policies on BOT projects to avoid losses and mistakes in the placement of stations.

Gov’t approves funding for Trung Luong-My Thuan expressway project The Saigon Times 2nd Oct 2019
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved allocating VND2.186 trillion (US$94 million) from the State budget to finance the cash-strapped Trung Luong-My Thuan expressway project in the southern province of Tien Giang, the project owner told The Saigon Times today, September 27. Mai Manh Hong, general director of the BOT Trung Luong-My Thuan JSC as owner of the VND9.6-trillion project, said the Prime Minister okayed the funding during his working visit to the province today.

PM urges completion of delayed expressway vietnamnews.vn 28th Sep 2019
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has asked the ministries and companies responsible for the construction of the Trung Lưong-Mỹ Thuận Expressway project in the Mekong Delta province of Kiên Giang to ensure it’s completed by 2021 after a series of delays. He made the request while inspecting construction progress on the expressway on Friday.