Kubota to join $92 million project to improve water supply system in Yangon


Farming and construction equipment manufacturer Kubota Corp. has said it will build water supply infrastructure in Myanmar’s commercial capital of Yangon together with other Japanese and South Korean partners, to meet growing industrial and household demand for clean water in line with the Southeast Asian country’s economic development.

The company, which also provides water environment solutions, and its partners have received orders worth about ¥10.5 billion ($92.7 million) to build a water supply system — including pumping stations, treatment facilities and pipelines — from the Yangon Municipal Government, Kubota said.

The undertaking is part of the Greater Yangon Water Supply Improvement Project aimed at enhancing water supply services, aided by soft loans from the Japanese government.

Teaming with Posco Construction & Engineering Ltd. of South Korea, Kubota will build pumping stations, distribution reservoirs and disinfection facilities at a cost of about ¥5.4 billion, scheduled for completion in two and a half years.

Kubota Construction Corp., its wholly owned subsidiary, will install 45 kilometers of pipelines, including one linking Thilawa — Myanmar’s first special economic zone, jointly developed by the private and public sectors of Japan and Myanmar — to the rest of Yangon. The ¥5.1 billion project, to be completed in two years, will also involve Marubeni Protechs Corp., the plant engineering arm of Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp.

Hiroomi Yoshikawa, manager of Kubota’s water and environment planning and control department, said in a recent interview with NNA that the facilities for tap water are not only important for households in Yangon to get clean water but are also crucial for the infrastructure development of the Thilawa zone.

The current water supply system in the Thilawa special zone is capable of supporting business operations in its first phase. The first phase has seen 400 hectares of land, out of a total of over 2,400 hectares, already developed.

“The enhancement of waterworks will enable the whole Thilawa SEZ to be provided with water, and a better water supply along with electricity supply will attract more investors and make it more successful,” he added.

Kubota has already built a water supply system including purification and treatment plants within the Thilawa SEZ.

At the third Asia-Pacific Water Summit held in Yangon earlier this month, state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de facto leader, highlighted increasing water demand in the country, including in economic and industrial zones.