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Lao govt woos businessmen to construct bitumen plant

Publication Date : 19-07-2012


The Lao government hopes to persuade a Lao bitumen supplier and its Thai counterpart to enter into a joint venture to construct a bitumen processing plant in Laos.

Bounchanh Sintha-vong, the deputy minister of public works and transport, was speaking at the Lao Bitumen Seminar 2012 in Vientiane yesterday.

The seminar was jointly organised by Tipco Asphalt PCL from Thailand and local firm Seneoudom Co Ltd.

Bounchanh spoke at the seminar, saying: "I have heard that Tipco has built such factories in many countries, including Cambodia and Vietnam. So if it is possible in the future, I would like Tipco to build another plant in Laos."

It was suggested that local company, Seneoudom Co Ltd should enter into a joint venture with Tipco of Thailand, in order to build a plant capable of catering to the significant road construction activities underway in Laos.

"We made the suggestion in order to help the two companies reduce their transport costs and pave the way for providing better services in the future,” Bounchanh said.

It will be good if there is such a factory in Laos because the plant would become a hub for bitumen production that can further link the neighbouring countries, he explained.

"So I would advise the two companies to study the suggestion. Our ministry and the government will be pleased to provide the necessary assistance if the two companies are interested in building the plant in Laos," he said.

Thongchai Phoonsup-taveegit, Group Manager, International Sales & Marketing of Tipco Asphalt PCL said, "We feel very excited to hear what the deputy minister's advice is regarding building a Tipco factory in Laos."

"Building a plant in Laos would not only provide a good local bitumen producing facility, but would further the skills of local Lao staff. Having a Lao plant would produce more local technicians and that will be of benefit to Laos," Thongchai said.

Tipco's bitumen products officially entered the Lao market in 1999. The company exported 3,850 tonnes of bitumen to Laos in 2001. Their exports had increased fourfold to around 15,500 tonnes last year and the figure will continue to go up because road construction is booming in Laos, he explained.

The Laos Bitumen Seminar 2012 was convened to exchange information and knowledge between local technicians and their counterparts from Thailand.


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