Siam Cement says 18 operations halted by court

Siam Cement says 18 operations halted by court
Published: 02 December 2009

Siam Cement, Thailand’s top industrial conglomerate, said 18 of its 20 industrial projects at the Map Ta Phut industrial estate would be suspended after a court ruling on environmental concerns.

The 18 projects, mostly petrochemical operations, involved a total investment of THB57.5bn (US$1.74bn), Siam Cement said in a statement late on Wednesday.

A court halted the bulk of new projects at the estate, home to the world’s eighth-biggest petrochemicals hub, on Wednesday due to environmental concerns, rattling investors in Thailand and posing a new challenge for the government.

The court order should lead to a delay in the start-up of some projects that had been scheduled to begin operations gradually from the first quarter of 2010, but it would not affect the company’s existing production capacities, Siam Cement said.

Siam Cement, 30 per cent owned by the Thai royal family’s Crown Property Bureau, has stakes in more than 100 petrochemical, cement, paper and related businesses.