Thai company Tycoons Worldwide Steel Group is planning to increase its investment in a steel complex in Vietnam’s Dung Quat Economic Zone.

It has applied to local authorities to up the amount to US$1.8 billion after initially deciding to invest $1.1 billion, according to the government of Quang Ngai province where the zone is situated. But the reason for Tycoons’ decision is not known.

Construction on the plant is expected to start next month and finish in 2009 when it will supply raw materials to Vietnamese steel manufacturers and a Tycoons factory in Thailand

The plant’s capacity will be increased to five million tons in 2010. The Vietnam Association of Steelmakers said the technology to be used in the plant was somewhat outdated and no longer used in countries like Thailand and China.

The Dung Quat zone authorities said, however, that the technology was appropriate for Vietnam’s practical needs and Tycoons’ long-term strategy here.

Recently South Korea’s Posco Group, the world’s third-largest steel manufacturer, has unveiled its plan to build a hot-rolled steel plant at a cost of $4.5 billion in central Khanh Hoa province.

The country imports some 3.5 million tons of steel sheets per year and the volume could soar to 4.7 million tons in 2010, and 7.2 million tons in 2015.

Source: Thanhnien