Kyaukphyu Port, Rakhine State, Myanmar

Myanmar is planning to build its largest port, linked to China, in the restive area of Rakhine state. Thousands will be displaced to make room for the port.


The city of Kyaukphyu, a major town in Rakhine state, in Western Myanmar, is located in a privileged area in the Bay of Bengal. Nestled between India and China, Kyaukphyu is poised to become one of the major global trade hubs in the near future. 

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Basic Data
NameKyaukphyu Port, Rakhine State, Myanmar
ProvinceRakhine State
SiteKyaukpyu city
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Ports and airport projects
Specific CommoditiesTransport services
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsArea: 243 hectares (this is the area that the government reserved for the project in 2015. Back then, the project consisted of two deep sea ports. The government has decided to downsize the project and today the area that the port will cover is unclear) [10] [11]

Port capacity: 4.8 million tons of bulk cargo and 4.9 million TEU containers [12]
Project Area (in hectares)243
Level of Investment (in USD)1, 300, 000, 000
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population20,000 (Deep Sea Port and related Special Economic Zone)
Start Date01/09/2013
Company Names or State EnterprisesCITIC Group from China
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Myanmar, Myanmar's Commerce Ministry
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersInternational Commission of Jurists (, Kyaukphyu Regional Development Association
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Other socio-economic impacts
OtherConcerns over increased debt
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseThe project was downsized
Development of AlternativesThe International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has recommended a moratorium on all the Special Economic Zones and to suspend the land

acquisition process in Kyaukphyu
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The project is going ahead, even though it has been downsized.
Sources and Materials

2014 Myanmar Special Economic Zone Law
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2015 Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure
[click to view]


[4] Exclusive: China seeks up to 85 percent stake in strategic port in Myanmar, Reuters, May 5, 2017
[click to view]

[6] Kyaukphyu port: What happens next?, Myanmar Times, November 9, 2018
[click to view]

[2] Five things you should know about China-backed port in Myanmar, South China Morning Post, May 9, 2017
[click to view]

[8] Myanmar: amend Special Economic Zones Law to protect human rights – new ICJ report, February 2017
[click to view]

[9] Gov’t Signs MoU with Beijing to Build China-Myanmar Economic Corridor, The Irrawaddy, September 13 2018
[click to view]

[5] Myanmar scales back Chinese-backed port project over debt fears, The Guardian, August 2, 2018
[click to view]

[10] Govt reserves land for Rakhine state SEZ, Myanmar Times, Dec 7 2015
[click to view]

[7] Kyaukphyu SEZ project comes after Kyaukphyu Deep Sea Port project, October 9, 2018

[click to view]

[11] Myanmar: China agrees to continue Kyaukpyu project based on results, Eleven Myanmar, Oct 5 2018
[click to view]

[12] Myanmar negotiating with Chinese consortium on deep-sea port project in Rakhine state, Xinhua, July 8, 2018
[click to view]

Other Documents

Signing of the agreement to develop the Kyaukphyu Deep Sea Port Ceremony for the signing of the agreement to develop the Kyaukphyu Deep Sea Port between the Myanmar Government and CITIC group Source: Myanmar Government
[click to view]

Demo of the Kyaukphyu Deep Sea Port Demo of the Kyaukphyu Deep Sea Port. Myanmar Government (
[click to view]

View of the Kyaukpyu port from the above View of the Kyaukpyu port in January 2018 from the above, Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorLaura Villadiego, Carro de Combate, [email protected]
Last update14/01/2019