Thailand/Cambodia: Owing to strong demand for cement in the country and the wider Far East region, Siam City Cement (SCCC) has announced plans to re-open one of the two clinker lines that it shut down in 2008, according to local press.
With the re-opening of the clinker factory in October 2013, SCCC's production capacity will rise by at least 1.4Mt/yr, or 10% of its current capacity, according to the company's managing director Philippe Arto.
SCCC shut down the two plants, which had total capacity of 2.25Mt/yr in 2008 because of an increase in production costs and a decline in demand for cement. However, the company has recently seen strong growth in demand. In 2013 it targets year-on-year growth of at least 5%, following an increase in both public and private sector projects.
Meanwhile, the company's board of directors has said that it will consider a plan to invest in Cambodia early in 2013. The company has been working on the plan since 2010. "Our board of directors will make a decision on this plan in 2013. This would be our first investment outside Thailand," said Arto.
If the plan is approved, SCCC will set up a cement plant in Cambodia via a joint venture with a local partner. "We are interested in investing in Cambodia because we have a more-than 40% share in the cement market in the country," said Arto.
SCCC's sales in the first nine months of 2012 climbed by 10.8% to US$653.8m from US$590.5m in the same period of 2011 due to growing demand. However, its net profit dropped by 5.3% to US$94.1m from US$99.3m due to rising energy costs.