Jan 17, 2012

Hydrotek looking at Myanmar

Hydrotek Plc (Hydro), the MAI-listed water company, expects its international tap- and waste-water treatment services will contribute 40% of revenue over the next three years. Its international focus is on Asean countries, especially Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, as well as Oman in the Middle East, said chief executive Slib Soongswang. Hydro held a preliminary talk with the Yangon City Development Committee during the weekend to provide tap water for the old capital of Myanmar. The company will soon submit its proposal, with a decision expected over six months. If selected, it will work out a shareholder structure for a joint venture in Myanmar. "We chose Myanmar as the first foreign destination because the country offers a lot of opportunities after its government relaxed its policy on foreign investment. Tap water in Yangon is insufficient," said Mr Slib. In 2010, Yangon could supply tap water to only 60% of its 6.32-million population, treating only 12,300 cubic metres a day. Wastewater treatment for industrial plants will likely be in high demand in the near future, he said. It is expected Myanmar's government will pass an environmental law over the next few months requiring all factories to treat wastewater before releasing it. "Factory owners in Myanmar are now preparing for new environmental laws. Many have allocated budgets for wastewater treatment, and Hydrotek will approach them," Mr Slib said. Hydrotek also wants to provide tap water in Myanmar's industrial areas. "We're confident we can secure contracts in Myanmar, as we have strong connections with the local government and businessmen," he added. In Laos, Hydro will explore opportunities to provide tap water via government concessions. In the Middle East, it will join the TRC Construction consortium and handle seawater reverse osmosis production, with a planned capacity of 30,000 cubic metres a day in Oman. If a deal is agreed upon, Hydro will start work on the project in the third quarter. "We'll start realising overseas revenue in the fourth quarter of this year. The proportion will represent 5-10% of revenue in 2012 but rise to 40% within three years," Mr Slib said. Net profit margin from abroad will be at least 15%, higher than in Thailand, which stands at 7-8%. HYDRO shares closed yesterday on the MAI at 5.15 baht, up 10 satang, in trade worth 21.5 million baht. Source: Bangkok Post


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