SCG is looking at the possibility of building a cement factory in Vietnam, either by itself or in a joint venture.
SCG, the leading Thai industrial conglomerate, is looking seriously at expanding further in Vietnam, especially in the cement and upstream petrochemical businesses, according to The Nation newspaper.
Country Executive Director of SCG in Vietnam, Mr. Dhep Vongvanich, said the company is determined to have a cement factory in Vietnam and will also push ahead with its $4.5 billion integrated petrochemical complex in the country, called Long San Petrochemicals, despite the recent withdrawal of Qatar Petroleum, one of the four key partners in the project. “Our target is to have a cement factory in Vietnam but we still can’t say when,” he said. “We are studying whether we should invest on our own or through a joint venture.”
The start of the Long San Petrochemicals project will be delayed by no more than six months, from late 2019 to early 2020.
“Vietnam is an outstanding destination for its stable politics, cheap energy costs, and diligent workers,” he said. “Here there are opportunities, while in Thailand the real estate and construction industries are slowing down.”
Starting operations in 1992, SCG, which has already poured $700 million into Vietnam, runs 22 operations in the country, including two its acquired last year: the Prime Group, the country’s largest ceramic tile player, and Tin Thanh Packing (Batico), a flexible packaging company.
According to an SCG presentation at a conference in Singapore earlier this month, Vietnam is its third-largest investment destination.
“Indonesia is the largest destination because of our cement plant there,” Mr. Vongvanich said. “Because of this we are looking also at investing in upstream petrochemicals here, since Vietnam still has to import all upstream petrochemical products.” He also announced that some 80-90 per cent of output from the project will be to meet domestic demand.
SCG recently met with Vietnamese authorities to reaffirm its commitment to the Long San Petrochemicals project, with the Vietnamese Government offering its full support.