THAI construction firm Ch Karnchang has teamed up with its subsidiary TTW to explore business opportunities in Myanmar.
TTW is conducting a feasibility study on water-treatment plants, starting with one in Mawlamyai. It expects to announce a decision early in the new year.
“We’ve been working on expanding into Myanmar in the past few years. The key obstacles, though, lie in the Foreign Investment Act and potential partners,” Plew Trivisvavet, chief executive officer of the Thai construction firm, said recently.
Aside from water treatment, Ch Karnchang is eager to get involved in infrastructure development in Myanmar. The potential is huge, as the country’s infrastructure development is still in the initial stage, Plew said.
He said Ch Karnchang’s business model for Myanmar would not be like that of Italian-Thai Development, Thailand’s largest construction firm. ITD was awarded a 75-year concession to develop a large-scale deep-sea port and industrial zone in Dawei. It later relinquished the concession and opted to participate only in some projects in the zone.
“Our focus is on projects that clearly specify the investment requirements,” he said.
In its drive to expand outside Thailand, Ch Karnchang has established a solid presence in Laos. It is the main contractor for the Xayaburi Hydroelectric Power Project there, which is now 45 per cent complete.
“Operating strategy is our key strength in moving forward. Looking ahead in 2015, the company is going full steam in bidding for new infrastructure projects including the MRT Orange Line and Pink Line, dual-track railways and motorways, with confidence to acquire a share of 20-25 per cent in these projects,” Plew said.
Ch Karnchang on Tuesday announced that it had won a Bt3.5-billion contract from TTW for two water-treatment-plant expansion projects – Samut Sakhon-Nakhon Pathom and Pathum Thani-Rangsit.
The company is confident that its revenue this year will exceed Bt34 billion, thanks partly to the partial divestment of shares in Bangkok Metro Co and CK Power as well as dividends from subsidiaries. The company also signed up new construction projects worth more than Bt10 billion this year, including the Bang Pa-in Cogeneration Power Plant Project 2 (BIC 2) worth Bt4.611 billion, additional work on the MRT Blue Line and Green Line worth more than Bt2 billion, and the TTW’s water projects. It also expects another contract worth Bt1.1 billion from the Metropolitan Electricity Authority.
“Despite domestic political and economic challenges as well as global economic slowdown, which caused delays in the government’s infrastructure projects in 2014, Ch Karnchang has not seen a major impact. Our current backlog of more than Bt100 billion is sufficient to sustain our construction business for the next four years,” Plew said.