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New galv and prepaint lines planned for Myanmar

Henry Cooke, SBB Newsletter

An especially-formed company, Meranti Singapore Pte Ltd, has unveiled plans to build new galvanizing and painting lines in Myanmar (Burma). In a statement sent to Platts on Sunday it said it intends to spend US$85 million on the project. It is in talks with potential local partners to form a joint venture, as well as with suppliers of cold reduced coils from Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Korea.

The new plant will be built in the Thilawa special economic zone near Yangon (Rangoon). Production capacity will be around 180,000 metric tons/year of plain zinc galvanized and zinc/aluminum-coated coil, and 100,000 mt/y of prepainted.

Meranti said its products will be sold to the building and construction industry, whose demand for galvanized and painted sheet is forecast to grow at double-digit rates. Potential customers include pre-engineered building suppliers to foreign and local firms setting up factories or warehouses in Myanmar.

“From our market survey focused on the Yangon area, we see the building and construction market moving towards higher quality. Foreign investment that requires factories or other buildings will typically need high-quality steel, so prices in that segment are already pretty solid,” Meranti chief executive Sebastian Langendorf said in the statement.

Around 80% of the output will be sold domestically, leaving room for potential exports to regional markets, the Middle East and east Africa. The galvanizing line is expected to start production in 2019.

Meranti’s executives include people with experience working in companies including regional coated coil producer NS BlueScope, Hatch and BHP Steel.

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