The largest corporate donation so far for tsunami victims in Thailand was made yesterday through Siam City Cement Ltd by its Swiss-based shareholder, Holcim Ltd. The Bt33 million donation is part of a total of Bt100 million that Holcim has given to its operations in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia. "Holcim operates principally with a strong focus on sustainability and sustainable development. The tsunami disaster is so big, and we want to support the local companies to play a more visible role in the relief and reconstruction effort," said Paul Hugentobler, member of Holcim’s executive committee.
Siam City Cement, Thailand’s second largest cement company, founded by the Ratanarak family, will add the Bt33 million to its special relief fund. The money will be used to rebuild communities in the tsunami-affected southern provinces with sustainable-development projects such as schools, hospitals, orphanages and homes. Siam City Cement yesterday dispatched a team of engineers and architects to Phang Nga to survey the area and report on how the money could best be spent to relieve suffering and rebuild devastated coastal areas. "We want the projects to be comprehensive," said Hugentobler, who added that fortunately none of the company’s staff were among the tsunami victims, though its Sri Lankan plant had suffered minor damage. The Swiss group has 550 employees in Sri Lanka, 3,500 in Thailand and 2,500 in Indonesia.