China has recently started building giant tanks for storing crude oil shipped from Africa and Middle East within the compound of the deep seaport on the Madae Island in Kyaukpru in western Burma’s Arakan State.
A Burmese engineer who is working with the project said the construction of the oil tanks will be completed in mid 2012 and importing the oil from the tanks through the pipeline to China will begin in 2013.
“We are now building the foundations of the tanks. The tanks are on target to be completed in mid 2012, so to transporting the oil from the port through the pipeline to China will begin from 2013”, said the engineer.
China is now building the deep seaport project on the Madae Island, construction includes a port for storing 3 lakh tons of crude oil, a 2.9 km-long navigable channel, a 480 meter-long jetty for the oil tankers and a water reservoir of 600,000 cubic meters.
About 22 million tons of crude oil in a year will be transported from the port to China through the 2,380 km long pipeline of which about 800km will run through Burma.
12 billion cubic meters of natural gas that is produced from the A(1) and A(3) blocks of the offshore gas fields of Arakan State will be also exported to China through the pipeline.
The engineer said China is now speeding up the construction of the port by working both day and night. Most of the machinery and labourers are being brought in from its own country.
“Most of the engineers and workers constructing the port are from China and the machinery and other important material, such as cement, is also brought in from their country. The Burmese government is also allowing them to import whatever they need for the construction of their projects freely”, he said.
According to local residents, many farmers on Madae Island have become unemployed after their farmlands were confiscated. They were given very little compensation – much less than what the Chinese paid for the land needed for the port.