Vietnam: Foreign Cleantech Construction Firms Target Eco-friendly Building Products

green building design green light building for tower hamlets in united kingdom green light 1000x715Vietnam’s growing demand for eco-friendly building products is on the radar of many foreign cleantech construction firms.

Jean-Mann Cho, president of Gmatek Company, which is South Korea’s leader in green building materials, told VIR that Gmatek was seeking Vietnamese partners to export its products to Vietnam, including foamed ceramic boards, incombustible insulators, sound absorption panels and fireproof doors.

“If we succeed in establishing a network of partners here, we will build a factory here,” Cho said. “Vietnam’s climate condition is suitable to our products which can resist water, fire and funguses.”

Cho said the use of foamed ceramic boards for construction could decrease the area of agricultural land used for clay exploitation to make baked bricks, thus helping ensure food security and limit environmental risks.

Gmatek is among nearly 50 South Korean firms coming to Hanoi last week to showcase their eco-friendly building-related products and seek local partners. They said they were encouraged by the Vietnam government’s plans to promote a low-carbon economy, in which environmental-friendly products would gradually be applied in buildings.

For example, under the Ministry of Construction’s Circular 09/2012/TT-BXD regulating the use of unbaked construction materials in buildings, by 2015, unbaked construction materials must occupy at least 30 per cent of bricks for buildings with at least nine floors, rising to 50 per cent in the following years.

The South Korean firms said Vietnam’s urban dwellers tripled from 12 million in 1986 to 36 million now, with an increasing number of buildings. “It is clear that such buildings will need eco-friendly products,” said Samhyun CNS’ managing director Sang-Hee Kang, saying CNS wanted to market five products related to surge protectors in the country.

Bugok Stainless and Kyoung Sung Industry companies also said they were expanding their export networks throughout Asia, with their products including stainless bars and pipes, stainless shots, cut wires, and carbon steel shots and gaskets.

“We have met with 10 Vietnamese partners and deals may be signed. In our studies, Vietnam’s buildings tend to use high-grade products like ours. Thus this is a good opportunity for us,” said Sung Kyu Hong, chief of Kyoung Sung Industry’s planning and management division.

The Vietnam Association for Building Materials affirmed Vietnam’s position as a growing market for environmentally friendly building-related products, with many types of solutions and technologies having been applied in buildings.

Among the foreign firms already making presence in Vietnam’s construction material market is Xella Group, a leading supplier of autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) and other sustainable building materials such as fermacell dry-lining systems.

“Our long-term goal is to have local production in Vietnam. However at this stage, our plants in China are able to supply Vietnam for the short-term,” said James Blythman, chief representative of Xella Group in Vietnam.

“We believe that Vietnam developers are keen to learn further about the advantages of new and green building materials. Vietnam has a long history of clay-brick masonry and as a result it will take some time to educate the market. Other organisations such as the Vietnam Green Building Council (VGBC) and their Lotus rating programme are playing their part to help educate the market on green building in general.”

Commenting on the group’s performance in Vietnam in 2013, Blythman said: “It is no secret that the Vietnam construction sector has been distressed since late 2011. However, Xella expects a pick-up in the residential and non-residential sector in 2014’s first quarter. The underlying demand in Vietnam remains unchanged and we see many opportunities long term for Xella and green building materials in Vietnam.”

Construction material maker Boral Gypsum Vietnam (BGV) has been building a second plasterboard production line in Ho Chi Minh City. In late March 2013 the company inaugurated a metal frame making factory in northern Hung Yen province. Boral is marketing 26 lines of products in Vietnam.

Established in Vietnam in 2005, Boral supplies a range of interior gypsum board lining solutions under the LAGYP brand. The company was the first to introduce plasterboard production to Vietnam

Meanwhile, Saint-Gobain Vietnam is trying to consolidate its firm niche in Vietnam, with premium brands like Gyproc, Gyptone, Gypfine and Gypfiller.

Source: VietnamInvestmentReview

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