Siam Cement targets sales to grow in line with the market average to 10Mt this year for domestic sales plus with another 5Mt for export. The company has capacity to produce 23Mta, out of the industry’s total of 53Mta capacity. Furthermore, SCI’s current annual capacity of 400,000 tonnes of mortar cement is totally utilised. To serve the expected rise in demand, the company will invest about 200 million baht to raise capacity by 50%. By mid-2005, capacity for mortar cement, mainly used in residential projects, at the Saraburi factory will be raised by another 200,000 tonnes a year, he said.
Siam Cement also plans to increase its production capacity on expectations of steady demand from residential construction and a pickup in infrastructure development. The 50% expansion costing 200 million bath (RMB 40.41 million) would represent the industry’s first since the 1997 economic crisis, when the property market collapsed and new development ground to a standstill. Mr. Pramote said continuous expansion of large construction projects including infrastructure, low interest rates and increased housing loan approvals by banks would contribute to 10% growth of cement consumption this year to 26-28Mt. Though the residential market, especially the high-priced segment, would not grow as quickly as in the past two years, demand would continue to rise steadily, he said.