SeAH Steel is increasing its presence in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, as part of its efforts to tide over the rising barrier of global protectionism.
According to the steel industry on Dec. 23, SeAH Steel will invest about 40 billion won (US$36 million) to expand its second plant in Vietnam, SeAH Steel Vina (SSV), which is established in Dong Nai, a province in the southern part of the country. The company is aiming to complete the expansion project in March of next year. After the expansion, the plant’s annual production will swell from 240,000 tons to 311,500 tons per year.
SeAH is expanding its investment in the Vietnamese market in order to cope with the U.S. government's tightening regulations on imported steel products and penetrate the Southeast Asian market, which is enjoying a high economic growth rate.
SSV's utilization rate stood at only 57% in 2014, but reached 81%, a record high, this year. The plant will also serve as a production base for the Southeast Asian market as well as Vietnam after the expansion.
In addition to SSV, SeAH is also targeting the local market through Vietnam Steel Pipe located in Hai Phong, northern Vietnam. Steel pipe products for piping and structures produced by Vietnam Steel Pipe are 100% sold in the Vietnamese market. The utilization rate of Vietnam Steel Pipe’s plant increased from 68.4% in 2013 to 71.7% this year.
SeAH has a production base not only in Vietnam but in Thailand. The steelmaker has set up POS SeAH Thai, a joint venture between SeAH Special Steel (25% stake) and POSCO South Asia (75% stake). The company, located in Si Racha, Chonburi of Thailand, produces cold heading quality wires for the Thai automobile market.