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Myanmar to earmark US$15 million upgrading Kandawgyi Aquarium

Kandawgyi fresh water aquarium (Photo-EMG)

Myanmar is planning to spend US$15 million to transform Kandawgyi fresh water aquarium as a modern showcase to house underwater world, according to Soe Min, minister of Agricultural and Livestock for Yangon Region.

Kandawgyi fresh water aquarium has been included under the budget of Yangon Region government starting from October 1 in the fiscal year 2011-2012. The aquarium has 10,831 fresh water fish from 47 species on display. It has been operating at a loss under the management of the Yangon Region government.

In December 2012, the entrance fee of the aquarium was increased from Ks 500 (about $0.52) to Ks 1,000 (about $1.04) for an adult and a child would be charged Ks 500. The fee for an adult foreigner rose from Ks 1,000 to $2. A minor foreigner would pay $2 as well.

After the fee hike, the aquarium has earned profit, the minister said.
Domestic and international contractors have been invited to tender for the construction of the Kawdawgyi Aquarium to the international standard for underground and underwater fish museum. The tender announcement was made on The Mirror newspaper published on August 16, 2013. On September 16, 2013, the tender applications were announced in front of the nine members of the tender selection committee led by Yangon Region minister for agricultural and livestock.

There were five bidders. Yu Yu Win from Kamayut proposed to lease the Kandawgyi Aquarium for Ks 120 million (about $125,000) per annum. Yin Tun Thet from Bahan offered to pay Ks 99.99 million (about $104,165), followed by Zeyar Thura Mon from Kamaryut for Ks 60 million (about $62,500) and Khin Thant Zin Win from Insein for Ks 30 million (about $31,250) and Pyae Sone Aung from Junction Square for Ks 25 million (about $26,041) respectively. Yu Yu Win, offering the highest lease payment, won the bid, the minister said.

The ministry transferred the upgrading process of the Kandawgyi Aquarium to Yu Yu Win with ten year lease starting from October 1, 2013. The lease can be extended twice, each of which for five years. The new underground and underwater fish museum will complete within two years.

It will be a loss for the nation that the government only has Ks 70 million (about $72,916) per annum for the lease of Yangon Zoological Garden when the smaller Kandawgyi Aquarium can fetch a higher payment.

Experts from Singapore and Australia have already finished drawing design and calculating cost of the aquarium. Their design and estimates have been submitted to Yangon City Development Committee and Department of Fisheries for further process, the minister said.

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Surbana Myanmar Aquarium Project (14 October 2014)

An official groundbreaking ceremony for the Yangon Aquarium was held yesterday (Tuesday 14 Oct 2014) on-site at the picturesque Kandawgyi Lake in Central Yangon. The event was graced by the Yangon Chief Minister U Myint Swe, and many business luminaries in Myanmar.

Surbana has been engaged since last November by the Myanmar Aquariums Co Ltd (MACL) to undertake the full-suite design and project management of the Yangon Aquarium. Our design team from Studio 8 had earlier contributed a winning design to help MACL win the tender bid for the 4.5acre site.

When completed, the Yangon Aquarium will showcase 500 species of local fresh water and salt water fish, including sharks for the first time in Myanmar. The aquarium has been widely touted as “the most anticipated tourist attraction in Myanmar”, and will feature new environmentally-friendly features in its design and operations. The project is targeted to be completed by the end of 2015.
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