Displaying items by tag: Myanmar
Myanmar: Five foreign workers at Mawlamyine Cement, a cement plant being built by Siam Cement and CITIC Heavy Industries, have been charged for violating visa regulations. The workers failed to report the initial arrival of 11 of their colleagues’ to the local immigration authorities, according to the Myanmar Times. Four Chinese and one Thai citizen have been charged with violating three sections of the Registration of Foreigners Rules of 1948 which require the registration of foreigners with relevant immigration officials within 24 hours of arrival at a hotel.
Siam Cement and CITIC Heavy Industries signed a deal in 2013 to build a 5000t/day plant for US$197m. The plant is expected to become operational later in 2016.
Myanmar: SCG has launched Masonry Cement, its first bespoke product for the Myanmar market. The brand of cement is targeted for applications in plastering and bricklaying, according to the Myanmar Business Today newspaper.
“This Masonry Cement is specialised for the Myanmar market. Based on customers’ choices, they can use this cement or our former cement products. This new product has strength in bonding cement. Some unqualified cements provide less bonding in plastering. This new product will reduce waste and expenditure,” said Attapong Sathitmanotham, SCG’s Myanmar Country Director.
Myanmar: The state-run No. 33 cement plant in Kyaukse, Mandalay will be upgraded to produce up to 5000t/day of cement in a partnership with Myanmar Conch Cement. The plant was established in 1983 and has been running under the Ministry of Industry with a capacity of 300t/day. The upgrade is expected to be finished in three months, according to Myanmar Business Today.
The agreement with Myanmar Conch Cement will give the government profit from 2.71% of production in the first year and from 5% in the following 19 years. “In profit sharing, the government owns its net profit without investment for production and staff payment. The partnership company will pay for it,” said U Saw Aung, General Manager of Technology at the Development Department of the Ministry of Industry.
Domestic demand for cement in Myanmar is around 8Mt/yr with half of this figure imported from abroad.
Thailand: Thailand will continue to be Italcementi Group's production base in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and as its springboard for expanding into Myanmar after HeidelbergCement acquires a 45% stake in the company in July 2016. Carlo Pesenti, the chief executive officer of Italcementi, made the comments about the future direction of the business in an interview with the Nation newspaper.
"HeidelbergCement, which will be the major shareholder of Italcementi when the deal is complete this July, has a policy to maintain the business in Thailand and its business plan to expand into Myanmar, because HeidelbergCement does not have a presence in Thailand,” said Pesenti. “Thailand is our production hub and business arm for expanding in ASEAN."
Italcementi Group holds a 49% stake of Asia Cement in Thailand. Asia Cement and its subsidiary Jalaprathan Cement have cement production capacity of 5Mt/yr. Asia Cement has set aside an investment budget of up to US$14m to maintain its three clinker and cement plants in Thailand. However, the company it waiting for the acquisition of Italcementi by HeidelbergCement before it can decide about expansion plans in Cambodia and other territories.
Myanmar: Hundreds of protestors have gathered in Hpa-an to object against a revived proposal to build a 5000t/day cement plant in Mi Karen and to develop a nearby limestone quarry. The project was originally put on hold in 2014 pending a public consultation, according to the Irrawaddy newspaper.
Protestors held a 'no cement' prayer vigil demanding that the project be scrapped. Local residents fear that the proposed cement plant will require land to be confiscated to build it as well as citing environmental and public health concerns.
Hpa-an has two existing cement plants in Myaingkalay with a combined cement production capacity of 4900t/day. These are run by the government and the military’s Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (UMEHL) respectively.
Myanmar: Local cement producer Arr Thit Man plans to double its cement production capacity from 5000t/day to 10,000t/day by 2016, according to senior officials. The company makes the Double Rhinos brand cement from its plant in Kyaukse, Mandalay. It claims to be the country's largest cement plant.
"We are a new brand, but we are focused on the quality of cement and fulfilling market demand," said the company's managing director. For the time being, Arr Thit Man plans to focus on meeting growing domestic demand rather than exports.
A number of other cement manufacturers are also looking to increase their local presence. Siam Cement Group is building a 1.8Mt/yr cement plant in Mon, which it expects to be operational in 2016. Several companies also import their cement to Myanmar.
Myanmar: Siam Cement Group (SCG) will open its first showroom in Yangon, Myanmar in May 2015, according to country director Chana Poomee. It will showcase products to customers and partners. "SCG is committed to enhance the expertise of the dealer network and empower them for long-term competitiveness," said Poomee. SCG is currently expanding into Myanmar with the construction of a cement plant in Mawlamyine, Mon, which is expected to open in 2016.
Indonesia: State-run Semen Indonesia may cancel its plans to invest in Myanmar if the company and its local partner fail to reach an amicable agreement over the partnership deal. Semen Indonesia's corporate secretary Agung Wiharto said that his company was facing another difficult round of discussions with its partner in Myanmar.
"Negotiations are ongoing, but we still haven't reached an agreement with our local partner on certain problems, including share price and the size of the stake to be acquired," said Wiharto. He added that if the prices demanded by the local partner were too high, Semen Indonesia would either seek a different Myanmarese company to cooperate with or move the expansion plan to another Asian country such as Vietnam, Cambodia or even Bangladesh. "We want a more reasonable price, as we will not only acquire a stake, we will also provide expertise, technology and human resources," said Wiharto.
Semen Indonesia announced in 2014 that it had decided to postpone its plan to acquire a cement company in Myanmar in 2015 after it missed its deadline to conclude negotiations in the middle of the year. Wiharto added that, to date, the potential partner had not yet determined the portion of its shares to be sold to Semen Indonesia.
While Semen Indonesia had planned to acquire a majority stake in its potential partner, Wiharto said that his company would be satisfied even if did not become a controlling shareholder. He declined to disclose how much investment Semen Indonesia had prepared for the expansion, simply saying that the cement producer had 'enough internal cash to fund the required capital.'
A couple of news stories this week from Myanmar present an opportunity to look at the country. Lafarge has opened a cement repacking plant in the Thilawa special economic zone (SEZ). Upcountry meanwhile, Anhui Conch has had a joint venture approved by the government for an upgrade to an existing cement plant in Kyaukse.
Towards the end of 2013 the government announced that 13 companies were to establish joint ventures with the local state-owned cement plants. In addition the Myanmar Investment Commission had approved the construction of nine new cement plants with an aim of a target cement production capacity of 10.53Mt/yr. Following this, Siam Cement Group's on-going investment in a 1.8Mt/yr plant is due for completion in 2016. Semen Indonesia have been pushing for a joint venture since mid-2014 although it was still trying to agree terms in September 2014, according to local media. Italcementi's chief executive Carlo Pesenti also expressed his company's interest in setting up a joint venture in early 2014.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) investment bank CIMB placed cement demand in Myanmar at 4Mt in 2012 and a local cement production capacity of 3Mt/yr. Cement consumption was placed at 76kg/capita for the country's population of 52.8 million. In contrast, Thai cement engineering supplier LV Technology reported demand of 6Mt in 2012. CIMB recorded Myanmar's capacity utilisation rate at 60%. Cement sales were broken down as 95% by bag and 5% by bulk.
This kind of supply-demand gap excites foreign investors. Neighbouring Thailand has a consumption of 515kg/capita, Myanmar imports cement from Thailand, Indonesia and India and the country's GDP growth rate is currently estimated to be around 8%.
Yet what's notable about Myanmar's industry are the high number of small, low production capacity cement plants. Many of them are wet process plants. Only one plant is reported as being capable of producing over 0.5Mt/yr with the Siam Cement plant project due to significantly bust this record when it is commissioned in 2016. Limited limestone deposits in the country may also make plants larger than 1.5Mt/yr unviable. Fuel is also an issue, with LV Technology advocating a wholesale industry conversion from state-subsidised gas to coal due to power shortages and impending competition issues.
In 2015 Myanmar is set to enact free trade tariffs from its ASEAN membership. Without protection or preparation, its cement plants could face serious consequences from cheaper imports from Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. The move by the government to encourage joint ventures with foreign partners looks like one way to mitigate this. In a market report in 2013 CIMB described the situation for investors as 'high-growth, high-barrier.' This seems to be an apt description given the experiences of Semen Indonesia.
Myanmar: Lafarge has opened a cement repacking and storing plant in Thilawa special economic zone (SEZ) in Myanmar. The plant cost an estimated US$10 - 20m. Lafarge owns 60% of the distribution depot, while two local firms own 20% each.
The depot, which is near Thilawa port, 20km outside Yangon, can store 20,000t of cement and will be able to expand capacity based on customer demand. The depot will mainly be used for repacking and storing cement, while the cement will be imported in bulk from Lafarge plants in the region, mainly from Malaysia and Vietnam. The company will primarily supply its cement to construction projects in the ongoing Japanese-backed Thilawa SEZ project and the rest to the local market.