Friday, 31 October 2008

Siam Cement delays Cambodia plant expansion

The Star Online
Friday October 31, 2008

BANGKOK: Siam Cement PCL has delayed cement plant expansion in Cambodia and a new investment in Indonesia as cement demand falls due to a global economic slowdown, its cement division president said yesterday.

Thailand’s biggest industrial conglomerate also saw domestic cement consumption dropping 6%-7% this year from 25.6 million tonnes in 2007, and at least 10% next year, Pramote Techasupatkul told Reuters in an interview.

Rather than expansion, Siam Cement would focus on a 4 billion baht (US$115mil) investment plan to increase energy efficiency at its cement plants in Thailand and Cambodia, Pramote said.

“We are assessing the global situation. We have to be more prudent on spending,” he said.

The company’s domestic cement sales this year would fall to nine million tonnes, in line with the industry-wide decline, although exports would be 8.1-8.2 million tonnes, close to last year, he said.

Siam Cement has been producing cement at 80% of a full capacity of 23.2 million tonnes this year, Pramote added, but might cut production next year in response to weaker demand. – Reuters

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