THACO Group to invest $4.2 billion in circular economy

January 07, 2024 | 15:41
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THACO Group has reported significant progress in its Thaco Circular Economy Complex, a project poised to transform Lam Dong province.
THACO Group to invest $4.2 billion in circular economy
Tran Ba Duong, chairman of THACO Group

The project was announced in late December and encompasses a full circular economy chain, spanning bauxite mining, alumina and aluminium processing, environmental rejuvenation, and extending to agricultural and ancillary industries, including ecotourism.

The comprehensive investment for this groundbreaking project is set at over $4.2 billion, with equity financing 30 per cent ($1.3 billion) and the remaining 70 per cent through loans. The project's developmental roadmap is segmented into three phases, with completion and operational stability targeted beyond 2024.

Central to this initiative is the Lam Dong 2 Alumina Plant. With an annual capacity of 4 million tonnes, it is located across Bao Lam, Da Huoai, and Da Teh districts, and Bao Loc city.

THACO had initially projected the total investment for the bauxite mining and processing complex at $2.1 billion, including a bauxite ore beneficiation plant and an alumina processing facility.

As part of its long-term strategy, THACO envisions expanding into sectors where it has a competitive edge, like agriculture, renewable energy, and post environmental restoration.

Following extensive research, THACO has now doubled its original investment estimate, integrating additional projects such as red mud material production, a logistics centre with an inland dry port, auxiliary factories, resettlement and residential zones, and high-tech agriculture and ecotourism developments.

The project, with a 50-year operational horizon from the investment approval date, foresees the alumina plant's mining phase lasting for 20 years. This will be followed by sourcing raw materials externally for the remainder of the project's lifecycle.

THACO anticipates receiving the green light for investment by March, with construction approvals slated for December. The alumina plant's first phase is scheduled to commence in August 2025, aiming for operational status by 2028.

The project expects an average annual return of 16.2 per cent and a payback period of nearly 11 years.

Over two decades, the exploitation of the Lam Dong 2 mine reserves is forecasted to contribute around $202.5 million to the state budget and generate approximately 4,000 direct employment opportunities.

THACO has requested a January meeting with the Lam Dong People's Committee to discuss detailed research outcomes, the project implementation plan, and related proposals, laying the groundwork for the Thaco Circular Economy Complex.

The corporation plans to complete its pre-feasibility study and submit it to the relevant authorities for Q1 approval, following consultations with governmental bodies.

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