Siam Cement PCL is to spend Bt200m (US$4.89m) to boost cement production by half, calling it the industry’s first output boost by a Thai firm since the 1997/98 Asian economic crisis.
The expansion, to be completed in the middle of next year, will lift Siam Cement Industry Ltd’s dry mortar capacity by 200,000tpa to 600,000tpa, the division’s chief, Pramote Techasupatkul, told reporters.
Siam Cement Industry Contributes about 30 percent of the profits of Siam Cement PCL, Thailand’s biggest industrial conglomerate.
"This expansion requires a Bt200m investment, which is not a lot because it is an integrated production process," Pramote said.
Cement sales for the first five months amounted to Bt15bn, Pramote said.
Siam Cement, expects cement sales to rise 10 per cent this year from the Bt30bn it made last year. Dry mortar, or ready-to-use cement, is made from grey cement produced by four Siam Cement factories with a 23.2Mta capacity.
Thailand’s total grey cement capacity is 54Mta, with other major producers including Siam City Cement and TPI Polene. Thai cement factories are running at 60-70 per cent of their total capacity, but Pramote projected Thai demand would grow 10 per cent this year to 26-27Mt.
He expected Siam Cement to sell 15Mt of cement this year, with 10Mt in Thailand and the rest for export.
Domestic demand for cement is rising on the back of Thailand’s growing economy - forecast to expand by six to seven percent this year - led by real estate developments and increased infrastructure spending.