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Thailand’s WHA plans new industrial estate in Vietnam
Investment of US$1 billion expected yield US$5 billion from tenants over next five years
Sao Da Jr 5 Mar 2024

WHA Group, Thailand's largest industrial estate developer, plans to invest least another US$1 billion into Vietnam in the next five years to meet rising demand.

Vietnam is benefiting from companies seeking to diversify away from China, including global suppliers to Apple such as Taiwanese electronics contract manufacturing giant Foxconn and International Finance Corp-backed electronics firm Goertek.

Both are among WHA’s clients in Vietnam, where the Thai developer has been present since 2017 with around US$200 million disbursed to date. Sunny Optical Technology from China has also joined its client list.

Operating over a dozen industrial estates across Thailand and Vietnam, WHA plans to build a 1,200-hectare industrial park in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, which is part of Vietnam’s southern key economic zone like Ho Chi Minh City.

Its chairwoman and group CEO Jareeporn Jarukornsakul came to the province early this March to meet with provincial chairman Nguyen Van Tho. She told him that her group’s plan to invest at least US$1 billion in Vietnam over the next five years is expected to result in at least US$5 billion in capital investment from its new clients.

Jareeporn said Chau Duc District in the southern coastal province, which opens to the Pacific Ocean, has up to 4,200 hectares of land already zoned as would-be industrial estates, and WHA would take just 1,200 hectares. She did not specify the estimated investment. Nguyen pledged the province’s full support to investors.

The district has only one operating industrial park with the same name – Chau Duc IP. With 1,500 hectares in size, it is the province’s largest industrial park. WHA’s development, if it pushes through, would become the second largest in the province.

The southern province is home to Thai giant Siam Cement Group’s US$5.4 billion Long Son Petrochemicals complex and South Korean industrial conglomerate Hyosung’s US$1.3 billion complex of chemical factories and LPG storage system. Hyosung is also about to build a carbon fibre factory in the province with more than US$1 billion in investment.

As Vietnam’s oil and gas hub, Ba Ria-Vung Tau also houses the country’s unique operational LNG terminal, named Thi Vai and operated by PV Gas – a gas corporation of Petrovietnam, or Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group. The first-ever LNG terminal was commissioned in October last year after the country’s first LNG imports were delivered in July.

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