Seikitokyu Kyogo completes asphalt material plant in Myanmar

10, Mar. 2020

Tanks are seen at Seikitokyu's asphalt emulsion factory on the outskirts of Yangon on March 7, 2020. (NNA)
Tanks are seen at Seikitokyu's asphalt emulsion factory on the outskirts of Yangon on March 7, 2020. (NNA)

YANGON, NNA – Japanese road builder Seikitokyu Kogyo Co. has finished building an asphalt emulsion factory in Myanmar to make high-grade paving material as the pace of construction projects pick up in the Southeast Asian country.

The factory located in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone on the outskirts of the country’s commercial capital Yangon will go into full operation as early as June, Eiichi Ito, managing director of Seikitokyu Myanmar Road Co., its wholly owned subsidiary, said at a ceremony on Saturday.

The factory will occupy 20,000 square meters of land and initially be staffed by 40 people. It’s set up to produce up to 18,000 metric tons of asphalt emulsion a year.

Seikitokyu President Yoshikazu Taira said the company is determined to use the new factory to contribute to infrastructure building in Myanmar as demand grows.

"We'd like to use the new factory as a linchpin to get involved in infrastructure development in Myanmar in the hope that we'll serve as a bridge between Japan and Myanmar," the president said.

Demand for road paving materials is rapidly growing in the Southeast Asian country to pace construction of new infrastructure such as intercity highways and airports. Acceleration of those projects reflects Myanmar’s rapid economic growth.

Asphalt emulsion involves adding a surface-activating agent, a firming agent, water and other elements to make a material that can be used at normal temperature, according to Ito.

The strength and waterproofing of roads paved with ordinary asphalt are insufficient in durability, he added.

In Myanmar, air pollution caused by exhaust fumes and work delays pose other setbacks to conventional road pavement. Myanmar imports most of its asphalt emulsion consumed domestically, according to him.

The Myanmar factory marks the company's first production unit overseas. The local subsidiary with a capital of $10 million will operate it.