Thai SCG eyes more investments in Viet Nam

Monday, Jan 25, 2016 16:51

Thailand's SGC will invest more in Viet Nam. — Photo

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Thailand's Siam Cement Group, which has invested US$700 million in Viet Nam since 1992, plans to expand its operations in the country, especially in the cement and upstream petrochemical sectors.

SCG Viet Nam Executive Director Dhep Vongvanich said to Thailand's The Nation newspaper on January 23 that the leading Thai industrial conglomerate was determined to run a cement factory in Viet Nam.

SCG would continue the construction of the $4.5–billion Long Son integrated petrochemical complex in the southern Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, despite the recent withdrawal of Qatar Petroleum, one of the four key partners in the project, he said.

"Our target is that we must have a cement factory here, but by when we still cannot say. We're studying if we should invest on our own or through a joint venture," Dhep Vongvanich told The Nation.

According to The Nation, SCG runs 22 operations in Viet Nam and employs nearly 7,000 people in the country, including about 100 Thai staff members.

Last year, SCG acquired a Vietnamese flexible packaging company called Tin Thanh Packing Jsc. Earlier, SCG also acquired Prime Group, the largest ceramic tile firm in Viet Nam.

According to SCG's presentation at a conference in Singapore earlier this month, as of September 2015, Indonesia was the largest investment destination of the company with assets worth Baht43.8 billion ($1.23 billion), followed by Viet Nam with Baht25.7 billion ($726.8 million) and Cambodia with Baht10.77 billion ($304.6 million).

However, in the first nine months of 2015, Viet Nam reported the largest sales worth Baht22.24 billion ($628.7 million).

With the commencement of the cement factory last quarter, Indonesia has surpassed Viet Nam as the largest overseas operation in terms of sales of the group.

"Indonesia is the largest because it has the cement plant. Because of this, we're looking also at investing in [upstream] petrochemicals here since Viet Nam still has to import all [upstream] petrochemical products.

"About 80 to 90 per cent of the output from our project will serve the domestic demand," he told The Nation.

SCG recently met Vietnamese authorities to reaffirm its commitment to the Long Son Petrochemicals project, and the Vietnamese government gave its full support, he said.

"Viet Nam is outstanding for its stable politics, cheap energy costs and diligent people.

"Here lies our opportunity, while the real estate and construction businesses in Thailand are slowing down," he said. — VNS

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