Thailand: cement consumption rises by 12% in 2012

Thailand: cement consumption rises by 12% in 2012
Published: 15 November 2012


Cement consumption this year is on track to surpass the target of 8-10% thanks to continued government investment in mass transit projects, says the Thai Cement Manufacturers Association (TCMA). The grouping of all eight local cement producers now expects consumption will grow by 12% over last year's 25.5Mt.

The TCMA website pointed out that 12% growth would be triple last year's rate.

"Strong growth is expected this year due to continuous large infrastructure construction, particularly mass transit rail lines," said Somthida Piyapana, the TCMA's general manager.

Private sector construction, especially post-flood renovation and new condominiums, will also contribute significantly, she said, adding that demand has grown year-on-year each quarter.

As well, cement exports will rise by 5% this year on strong demand from Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos.

The TCMA reported last year's exports amounted to 4.77Mt of cement and 3.39Mt of clinker. Asean is the main cement export market, followed by Bangladesh and African nations.

Meanwhile, an initiative under the Cement Partnership project, called Rong Poon Rak Chumchon (Cement Factories Love the Community), was launched in April 2011.

A collaboration between the TCMA, leading cement maker SCG Cement and second-ranked Siam City Cement Plc, the initiative is aimed at creating an environmentally friendly cement industry while raising the living standards of life in communities near cement plants.

Saraburi province is Thailand's cement production hub, where 80-90% of the total product is made and six of the eight cement firms have factories.

Pinyo Hansilawat, the managing director of Siam Cement (Kaeng Khoi) Co Ltd, said the initiative goes beyond competition between cement makers but takes into account the long-term sustainability of the industry as a whole.

"Businesses these days cannot just talk about profit and loss but also must consider how to co-exist with communities and the environment," he said.

The new initiative features green operations that mitigate the environmental impact of cement production, transportation and raw material mining; corporate social responsibility; and communication with the public.

Last year, the initiative promoted green trucks, driver's training, building canteens for schoolchildren and offering mobile medical services for 400 locals. New projects this year include land afforestation and youth camps aimed at balancing academic learning with extracurricular activities.