BG CONTAINER GLASS (BGC), a subsidiary of Bangkok Glass, yesterday announced it was building its latest glass-container factory in Ratchaburi at a cost of Bt2 billion.
Supasin Leelarit, Bangkok Glass executive vice president for the commercial group, said that with a daily manufacturing capacity of 400 tonnes, the Ratchaburi factory would support greater local demand for glass containers. It will also help overcome an energy shortage in the company’s factory in Rayong, which is facing an inadequate supply of natural gas.
The Ratchaburi plant will be completed and ready to start operations in the third quarter of next year.
“As we want to supply our glass container products and services to our customers, we have to locate our factories in various areas where our customers’ plants are located. For example in Khon Kaen and Prachin Buri, our factories are located next to our customers’, such as Boon Rawd and Kratingdaeng,” Supasin said.
BGC currently operates five glass-container factories in Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya, Khon Kaen, Rayong and Prachin Buri, with combined production capacity of 3,335 tonnes per day or 1.2 million tonnes per annum (around 4.5 billion bottles a year). The company currently controls 39 per cent of Thailand’s glass-container market, which is worth more than Bt30 billion.
“With the new Ratchaburi factory, the company’s total manufacturing capacity for glass containers will increase to 3,735 tonnes per day,” Supasin said.
He said Bangkok Glass was ready to move forward with its strategies to enter different business segments across the Asean region. With more than 40 years of experience and continuous development of its production processes, the company says it is able to accommodate all the needs of its business customers.
Last year, Bangkok Glass confirmed its intention of becoming a “total glass solutions provider”. Thus BGC was established as Bangkok Glass’s latest subsidiary and in put charge of the production and distribution of glass containers, both in Thailand and elsewhere in the Asean region. “BGC aims to grow its sales by 10 per cent to 920,000 tonnes this year. We increased our sales by 4 per cent year on year in the first six months of this year,” Supasin said.
He said the company exported almost 10 per cent of its production to various markets, including Myanmar, Malaysia, Australia, Spain and South Africa. In Spain in particular, its prices are quite competitive with local suppliers.
“Our exports are aimed at coping with the problem of economic fluctuations in Thailand. However, the internal demand for glass containers in Thailand is still high and we are able to sustain our growth every year. So we need to respond to domestic demand as our priority. That is why we keep the export proportion at only 10 per cent of our production,” he said.He said the total value of Thailand’s glass-container industry was estimated at more than Bt30 billion this year. It grew by 4-5 per cent year on year in the first six months.
Some 10 years ago, the local glass-container industry enjoyed an annual growth rate of between 12 and 13 per cent. The lower growth rate now is due to the decrease in volume of glass packaging production and distribution, as there is a tendency for more usage of plastic bottles for certain types of beverage products.