Siam Cement Group (SCG), Thailand's top industrial conglomerate, is waiting for Myanmar to pass its controversial foreign investment law before proceeding with plans to build a cement plant in the neighbouring country.
"The proposed Myanmar factory is waiting for the authorities there to implement the new foreign investment law as well as for our project proposals to be approved," Pramote Techasupatkul, the president of SCG Cement, said yesterday.
SCG, Thailand's largest cement producer, plans to invest nearly 10 billion baht in the cement plant, which will have a daily capacity of 5,000 tonnes.
Myanmar recently delayed the implementation of the long-awaited foreign investment law with President Thein Sein deciding to return the legislation to parliament for further amendment when it reconvenes later this month.
"By the end of this year, something concrete [in the progress of the project] should materialise," said Mr Pramote.
SCG has been in Myanmar since 1993, when it was the first company to sell ready-mixed concrete there.
The factory, to be built completely from scratch, will be environmentally friendly, in line with SCG's policy to move towards green business, he said.
As part of its commitment to green business, SCG is introducing a new business unit called Green Building with a team of professionals providing consultation regarding eco-friendly construction.
Mr Pramote said the new unit, under SCG Building Materials, is aimed at achieving revenue of 1 billion baht in the next five years.
The green building unit was established two years ago with the initial aim of introducing products and materials for customers who want advice about the LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) certification.
Due to growing interest in the Thai market, the unit began providing consultation on a commercial basis last year. Among its clients are Starbucks and a Toyota dealer in Nakhon Ratchasima.
The Starbucks store at the Crystal Design Center has cut energy and water use by 20% and 30%, respectively, by using green building materials. Fifteen more branches are in the pipeline.
"We're ready to give advice or consultation to anyone interested in green buildings, whether it's new construction or renovation of old buildings," he said, noting that consultation fees are 1-2% of the construction costs.
Shares of SCG (SCC) closed yesterday on the SET at 353 baht, down five baht, in trade worth 906 million baht.
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- Writer: Soonya Vanichkorn