July 23, 2008

Italian Company to Build Metal R&D Centre in Thailand

By Yuthana Praiwan, Bangkok Post, Thailand

Jul. 23--Danieli Far East Co, a subsidiary of Italian-based Danieli C. Officine Meccaniche SpA, is proceeding with a 100-million investment to expand its existing facilities into the group's regional production, design and research centre in Thailand.

Boonnarg Mockmongkonkul, chief executive of the Thai unit of the world's leading metalworking machinery, equipment and system designer, said the new facilities in Thailand would include the group's first overseas research and development centre.

Investment in the R&D facility is projected at over 3 million.

The group has research and development assets of around 120 million.

The group selected Thailand as its overseas R&D and design centre due to the availability of supporting facilities and skilled human resources, Mr Boonnarg said.

Danieli entered the kingdom more than two decades ago through its trading unit, and later expanded into a production and design base to help tap into high demand across emerging Asian countries.

The new R&D centre will focus on developing advanced steelworks machinery technology and solutions to serve worldwide demand.

Mr Boonnarg said 32 million of the investment budget will be used for the company's third expansion phase.

Yesterday Danieli entered into an agreement to purchase an additional 121-rai of land in the Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate (ESIE) project developed by Hemaraj Land and Development Plc in Rayong province.

The company's third phase will use 40 rai of land while the remaining 81 rai of land would be reserved for future expansion.

Once the third phase is complete next year, its combined capacity would rise to 40,000 tonnes a year from 25,000 tonnes now. Staff levels will also increase to nearly 2,000 from 1,600 now.

The company earlier spent over 68 million in its first two phases of the manufacturing plant on 200 rai of land, and is now running at full operation.

Nearly 100 percent of current output is shipped overseas, especially to China and India, where demand for steel production machineries is high.


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