Glass surplus puts brakes on new projects

Construction glass makers are lobbying the Government to suspend the licensing of new glass-making projects until 2010 amid concerns of an imminent surplus crisis in the domestic market.

In a proposal sent early this week to the Prime Minister, the Viet Nam Construction Glass Association argued that given the industry’s current production capacity, the domestic market could be saturated within five years.The association’s chairman Tran Quoc Thai suggested the Government should not license new foreign-invested or joint-venture projects for the next five years, and that private investors should be made aware of the market situation.

Thai requested relevant authorities to crack down on smuggling, and called on local producers to focus on upgrading technology, improving quality, diversifying product ranges and driving up glass exports.

The association’s statistics reveal Viet Nam now has 7 large production lines which rolled out 75 million sq.m of glass last year, but a huge inventory of 25 million sq.m had built up because of tailing demand.

The construction of two more large glass-making facilities is expected to exacerbate the situation. The Truong Son Glass Plant, with a 12 million sq.m annual capacity, is expected to be operational this year, while construction work on another in southern Vung Tau City, with potential to add another 29 million sq.m of glass a year on the market, is scheduled to be completed next year.

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