Thailand-based The Siam Cement Public Company Limited (SCG), makers of Smartboard fibre cement sheets and Smartwood fibre cement based wood alternatives, is planning to set up a manufacturing plant in India.
“SCG is expected to set up the manufacturing facility within two years involving an investment of about $ 50 million”, Harsha Bhutani,managing director Hydrobaths Ramco Marketing Private Limited which is a joint venture partner of SCG in India, told Business Standard.
He, however, said that SCG would go ahead with its plans to have its manufacturing base once the sales volumes of Smartboard and Smartwood touched the “critical volume’ of 1 million square metres (sq mts) a year in India.Currently, the annual sales of the two products in the country stood at 300,000 sq mts.
Listed on Thailand stock exchange, SCG is stated to be having an annual sales of $ 20 billion worldwide. Hydrobaths, a producer of bath products, markets SCG products in India.
According to Bhutani, Smartboard is a new generation product made from portland cement, fine silica, cellulose fibres and water, The major application for the material is construction of partition walls as an alternate for brick or concrete walls.
Similarly, he said, Smartwood is a fibre cement sheet with cellulose fibre, portland cement, silica and other admixtures. As a building material, it works as an alternate to natural and wood composite facading material with a lower price point and performance that is superior to natural wood and wood composites.
Bhutani said that both the products have a lifespan of 100 years and cost less than 50% of the traditional building material. Consequently, there was a steady growth in their sales volume since their launch a year back in the country.
He said that Hydrobaths currently has 30 installers of the two products and efforts were being made to train more people in installation. The company was also holding seminars across the country for spreading awareness about the products.