IHI Corporation, a Japanese industrial conglomerate, has committed to expanding its investment in energy, automobile and infrastructure projects in Thailand, its Eastern Economic Corridor and the rest of Southeast Asia.
“We will expand our investment in Thailand as we are seriously considering new investment projects here,” said Hiroshi Horiguchi, managing director of IHI Asia Pacific (Thailand) Co, a subsidiary of IHI Corporation, during a group interview yesterday.
The company will continue to supply and provide maintenance services for gas turbines to energy companies in Thailand, he said.
Its largest customers is Rojana Power Co, a power-generation company, and the completion of Rojana’s latest plant came at a very good time because Thailand and Japan are celebrating 130 years of diplomatic relations this year, according to IHI executives.
IHI Group, with about 35 per cent of the Thai market for gas turbines for small power producers, is second only to Siemens, a German conglomerate.
The company is prepared to bid for the next phase of PTT’s liquefied natural gas receiving terminal after just completing construction of phase II, an LNG receiving terminal.
As Thailand plans to import more LNG for domestic consumption and electricity generation, there are investment opportunities in this area.
IHI expects to supply more shield tunnelling machines to Thai corporations as Thailand plans to build more subways and drainage tunnels in big cities.
Since the company is also specialised in building parking towers for luxury condominiums, this is another promising investment area.
IHI Turbo (Thailand) Co manufactures turbochargers for the local and overseas auto-parts industry.
The turbocharger factory is located at the Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate in Chon Buri, one of the three provinces in the Eastern Economic Corridor.
The company expects to increase production there.
The production of turbochargers has reached 10 million units since the plant’s establishment in 2002, according to the company’s statement.
The company is looking forward to investing more in the EEC, he said. Executives of IHI and other Japanese corporations recently met with Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, who has relentlessly campaigned for foreign direct investment in the EEC.
On Monday, Hiroshige Seko, the Japanese minister of economy, trade and industry, will lead Japanese investors on a three-day visit to Bangkok and EEC investment sites.
As the Thai government has a policy to promote renewable energy, the company has researched with a local company into biofuel for jet engines.
The IHI parent company has a research project relating to energy storage or batteries in the United States.
There’s potential to team up with Thai corporations for investment in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam as well as other Asean countries, he added.
IHI Corp, listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, reported consolidated net sales of Bt497.4 billion last year, according to the statement.