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Thailand bans steel plant expansion

Staff Writer |
Bangkok Post reported that steel plant expansion and construction of steel bar plants will be banned for the next five years in Thailand to reduce the domestic surplus.

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Somchai Harnhirun, the acting industry minister, said the ministry expects to announce the regulation draft, then propose it to the Council of State for endorsement. He said that "The ministry hopes the rule goes in effect soon to help the domestic steel industry.”

Somchai said the government calls on steelmakers to improve their technology, upgrade steel quality to meet high standards and solve the SOx and NOx emission levels to prevent outdated technology' from polluting surrounding communities.

Nava Chantanasurakon, chairman for the Association of Thai Hot-Rolled Steel Sheet, said the country’s steel industry' is suffering after the Commerce Ministry' on Jan 7 ruled out extending safeguard measures on imported hot-rolled steel sheet with alloy', both in coils and not in coils.

The ministry made the move after a probe found no harm to the domestic steel industry.

This safeguard measures will end on Feb 26. Thailand's safeguard measures on imported steel began on Feb 27, 2013.

In the past several years, domestic steel producers needed the government to resolve steel bar overcapacity, as the industry is already under threat from potential Chinese steel imports.

Thailand has 45 steel bar plants with a total capacity utilisation rate of 33.2% and can expand steel capacity in the future to meet domestic market demand. Thailand's steelmakers produce 9 million tonnes of steel bar a year for construction, while the domestic market demands about 3.45 million tonnes per year.


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