Thai long-shape steel maker Long Luck Steel Group plans to open a steel billets mill worth US$36 million, slated to operate in mid-2014.
The project has a new strategic partner, Asia Pacific Investment House (APIH), a venture capital firm registered in the British Virgin Islands. APIH did not reveal the amount of its investment.
The mill is planned for an industrial estate in Samut Sakhon, and the group plans to produce, sell and distribute steel billets and steel wire rod, with a projected combined annual production of 380,000 tonnes.
The Iron and Steel Institute of Thailand (ISIT) rates Thailand the largest steel market in Asean.
APIH said steel products are correlated to economic growth, and steel use in the region has increased. Sectors ranging from construction and automotive to electrical appliances all use steel products, and there is a supply shortage.
With local production only meeting 30% of Thailand's steel demand, the country potentially risks the quality and security of the supply chain by using exports, said an APIH statement.
APIH said Long Luck's new production has lured a buyer looking to purchase a minimum of 50% of its annual output.
Long Luck has been in the manufacturing business since 1998 and was founded by Wuttichot Hirunsearetumrong, who remains director of the company.
APIH invests in a wide variety of sectors including manufacturing, tourism and leisure, renewable energy, construction, tourism, airlines and infrastructure. It also provides project funding service and turnkey consultancy.