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Business & Finance

Australia's Woodside, Japan's Suzuki Motor halt some activity in Myanmar

  • Access to some infrastructure limited - Woodside official.
  • Woodside planned to drill three wells offshore Myanmar this year.
  • Suzuki Moto says ops in plants remain suspended.
Published February 2, 2021
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MELBOURNE: Australia's Woodside Petroleum said it had put some activity on hold in Myanmar after generals seized power and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, while Japan's Suzuki Motor said operations at two plants remained suspended.

Companies across the world with business interests in the South East Asian country are scrambling to assess the turmoil as the military coup sparked global outrage and the United States threatened to reimpose sanctions on the generals.

"Access to some infrastructure is limited and as a result we have postponed some logistical activities while we await further clarity," a Woodside spokeswoman said in emailed comments on Tuesday, but declined to provide details on what activities were on hold.

Woodside, which has been working with French giant Total SA and Myanmar-based MPRL E&P to develop Myanmar's first ultra-deep water gas project known as A-6, said it was monitoring the changing situation in the country.

Woodside, which says on its website that since 2014 it has invested more than $400 million in Myanmar, has fewer than 100 direct employees and dependents in the country, some of whom are expatriates.

All Woodside employees were accounted for and safe, the spokeswoman said.

The A-6 gas development is one of Woodside's medium-term growth projects, with a plan to pipe gas from the ultra-deep water field onshore to Myanmar and Thailand.

Companies such as Singapore's Overseas-Chinese Banking Corp and POSCO International closed their offices and asked employees in Myanmar to work from home, while some firms reported intermittent disruptions to their business.

Suzuki, which halted operations at the plants on Monday afternoon and asked all employees to go home, will make further decisions based on the situation, a spokesman told Reuters on Tuesday.

Rival Mitsubishi Motors, which plans to open an operation in Myanmar to help assemble cars, said on a post-earnings call on Tuesday that there were no changes in its plans for now.

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