Singha earmarks 4.8B baht for Southeast Asian hub

Singha Corp., the distributor of Singha beer, has allocated 4.8 billion baht to build an integrated food industrial estate in Ang Thong province, aimed to become a food hub in Asean.

The move is part of a diversification plan to increase revenue from nonalcoholic beverages and food, Executive Vice President Chutinan Bhirombhakdi said.

Of the total budget, 4 billion baht will be used to develop the World Food Valley Thailand project, an industrial estate for food manufacturing on 1,200 rai with a water- treatment site on 800 rai in Chaiyo district, Ang Thong.

An additional 800 million baht has already been spent on building Singha’s own power plant in the area.

The construction of the food industrial estate will come in three phases and take about three to five years to complete, starting from this year.

Singha Corp. has signed a memorandum of understanding with various state agencies, including the National Food Institute, the Industry Ministry, the SME Development Bank and the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion for the World Food Valley Thailand project to become an integrated food industrial estate.

The World Food Valley project will also provide integrated food industrial development, import safe and high-quality raw materials and other manufacturing components.

The company is now in talks with the government to invite the Board of Investment, Commerce Ministry and other agencies to provide support to the food industry supply chain.

It will provide a test and analysis service, food-quality certification, help connect with financial institutions, provide coaching techniques and give advice to strengthen the capabilities of food operators.

Food and Drug Administration procedures, patent registration and others will also be available.

Local and overseas food companies of all sizes are expected to purchase land and build factories on the estate. The World Food Valley Thailand project will respond to the government’s policy to promote competitiveness in the world market and become a top 5 food exporter within 20 years.

A 115-megawatt cogeneration and biogas-power plant has already been built, as well as a rice mill and a rice bran oil factory in the area. They will soon launch a brand of rice bran cooking oil.

Singha Group’s Singha Asia Holding bought Masan Group, a leading distribution company for consumer products and beer company in Vietnam last year, and will distribute Masan products in Thailand soon.

Currently, food business generates about 20 percent of the group’s total sales, with the expectation that it will rise to 35 percent over the next three years.

Singha Group has five businesses, including beer, food and beverages, energy, real estate and logistics. Beer and real estate contribute major sales. Currently, there are about 100 companies under Singha Group, eight of which are involved in the food business.

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