Press Release

Infrastructure development projects boost domestic zinc demand.

Padaeng Industry Plc said it is optimistic about domestic consumption trends for zinc over the coming years, driven by the investment in large scale infrastructure projects worth 1.08 trillion baht, committed by the government and private sectors. Zinc galvanized steel will become more important material for the building construction.

A one-day seminar on Zinc 2000 organised by Padaeng Industry and International Zinc Association yesterday indicated the growing trends of world metal consumption with this year projecting to grow 2.6% to 8.39 million tonnes. In Thailand, metal consumption will expand 5-6% to 87,000 tons this year. The company is confident in the steadily annual growth of zinc consumption, notably from the infrastructure development.

Mr. Piromsakdi Laparojkit, Deputy Secretary General of National Economic and Social Development Board, said the substantial investment in infrastructure projects which were committed over the next seven years, ending 2006 was worth 1.08 trillion baht involving in irrigation, transportation, communication, utility and energy projects. Each project has a size of investment up to one billion baht. Of total, 890.33 billion baht investment was committed by the government sector and 195.75 billion baht investment by the private sector.

Mr Pinit Vongmasa, Padaeng Industry’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said huge investment in infrastructure projects, especially in transportation, utility and energy will benefit the related industries. Zinc galvanized steel is among those enjoying the infrastructure development because the material is more durable and not prone to corrosion.

At present, about 80 million tonnes of steel worldwide were zinc galvanized including steel products in various shapes such as steel sheet, wire rod, steel pipe and diecasting steel. Zinc galvanizing is a process by which steel is coated with a layer of zinc to prevent rusting will provide durability to steel products and the process is flexible to steel with either common or complex shapes.

More importantly, zinc galvanizing can help save long-term maintenance cost and is lower than paint-coated steel. However, the consumption of zinc galvanized steel in Thailand is still low when compared with those in Asian countries because there is a wrong perception that the construction projects which use zinc galvanized steel is more costly than those use paint coated steel or stainless steel. Zinc galvanized steel is in fact, not only durable when it is used in the building construction but also help save the maintenance cost.

Many zinc galvanized steel mills in Thailand have successfully developed their galvanizing technology up to the levels used overseas.

Padaeng Industry is confident that the consumption of zinc galvanized steel will steadily increase. Padaeng Industry is the only zinc producer in Thailand to meet the need overseas and at home. The company has a policy to increase a proportion of domestic consumption to export to 73:27 this year from 66:34 the previous year, respectively. In five months to May, the metal consumption rose 17% year-on-year to 30,284 metric tonnes.