The Thai government has been urged to construct a steel industrial estate in neighbouring countries.

The THB100bn ($3.2bn) complex would include a deep-sea port, said the Iron and Steel Institute of Thailand, which recommended Myanmar and Cambodia as potential locations for the 24000m2 complex.

Koh Kong is considered the most appropriate location in Cambodia for the estate, which will house integrated steel manufacturing including an upstream smelting facility, while Dawei is recommended in Myanmar.

The institute hopes to propose the plan to the Thai government during Q1. It said the development would help strengthen Thailand’s capacity as the centre of Asean Economic Community.

The institute has pushed for Thailand to establish a steel smelting plant to lower the cost of existing mid- and downstream steel manufacturers but the plan has faced opposition from environmentalists.

This year, conservative demand growth is projected at about 6-8% to 15Mt in Thailand.

The automotive industry, which is expected to produce nearly 2 million cars and pickup trucks, will lead the demand growth in the manufacturing sectors along with electrical appliance and machinery makers.

The construction industry is also forecast to have strong demand for steel, thanks to planned government infrastructure projects and more private-sector work.

Source Bangkok Post