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Myanmar gives go-ahead to build 4th international airport

Oct 29 (Reuters) - Myanmar has chosen a Japan-Singapore consortium to build its fourth international airport, a $1.5 billion project north of the country's biggest city Yangon, a senior transport ministry official said on Wednesday.

The Hanthawaddy International Airport near Bago Town, about 96 kilometres (60 miles) from the main airport in the commercial hub Yangon, will be undertaken by Yongnam-CAPE-JGC, a consortium that includes Singapore's Yongnam Holdings Ltd, Changi Airport Planners and Engineers (CAPE) and Japan's JGC Corporation.

The project will be 49 percent financed by overseas development assistance, with the rest coming from private loans and the consortium itself, Tin Maung Ni, a member of the Tender Selection Committee, said.

"The construction period is about four years from the signing of the contract, so we can expect it finish around 2019," he said.

"The capacity of the airport will be 12 million passengers annually."

Only three out of more than 30 airports in Myanmar are designated as international airports at present.

A flurry of tourist arrivals in Myanmar are testing the capacity of existing international airports in Yangon, the second biggest city Mandalay and the new capital, Naypyitaw. Yangon and Mandalay are currently being upgraded.

Close to five million tourists are expected to visit Myanmar in 2015, up from three million targeted in 2014, compared with two million in 2013 and one million in 2012.

Cr.Aung Hla Tun; Editing by Martin Petty and Jane Merriman/Rueters, Win mit Yosalawin<P>

Natalie P.Sisutcharit.../Reports

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