Siam Cement Group (SCG), Thailand’s top industrial conglomerate, is ramping up its coal trading business overseas by opening processing and distributing hubs in Southeast Asia, China and India.
The expansion is expected to lift coal trading by 40-50% in value and turnover next year, said Kalin Sarasin, managing director of SCT Co, a trading arm of SCG.
By the third quarter of 2010, SCT will open hubs in south China, India, Malaysia and the Philippines, each at an investment of 20-30 million baht, he said.SCT operates two coal hubs in Thailand, and one each in Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Coal demand from food, cement, paper and cloth dye sectors is growing. With economies in Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia picking up while China’s swells, coal demand should surge next year, Mr Kalin said.
SCT has about 30 major clients in Thailand that consume 3,000 tonnes of coal per month, and 100 smaller-scale clients with sales of 300 to 1,000 tonnes. Sales to small clients climbed to 300,000 tonnes in the first eight months from 180,000 tonnes a year earlier, he said.
The company sources coal from Indonesia’s Sumatra and the Kalimantan portion of Borneo.