CHEMSTATIONASIA Group, the seventh biggest chemical distributor in Asia Pacific, expects a 10 per cent increase in turnover to US$530 million (RMRM1.7 billion) from last year's US$484 million, as rising infrastructure investments in Southeast Asia spur demand for industrial chemicals.
"We would like to expand and upgrade our formaldehyde resins facilities in Kuantan and Ho Chi Minh City," said group managing director Datuk Andrew Ng Iet Pew.
"Next year, we intend to invest in Indonesia. We're looking to put up a plant to produce polyutherane foam and build a new liquid chemical storage terminal," he told Business Times in an interview here recently.
To date, ChemStationAsia's core business is in the distribution of basic chemical solvents and specialty chemicals.
This is supplemented by the manufacture, storage and haulage of industrial chemicals.
As the seventh biggest chemical distributor in the Asia-Pacific region, the group has a staff strength of more than 1,000 people across seven countries in Asia.
ChemStationAsia imports its chemicals from South Korea, China, Japan, India, the US, Europe and Brazil. These are then distributed through its growing network of clients in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Vietnam.
Known as Dovechem Group until end of last year, Ng's family decided to split the group into two, of which the bulk of the business is now being rebranded as ChemStationAsia Group.
It was a challenging five years for the company and the family, as there were different aspirations in regard to where to take the Dovechem Group.
After extensive discussions within the family, they came to an amicable understanding.
"We decided that the best option to move forward is to split the Dovechem business into two," he said.
"Despite the split, we remained amicable. We don't discount the possibility of future collaborations with Dovechem," he added.
Asked on the growth direction of ChemStationAsia, Ng said the group is looking to further expand into specialty chemicals usually used in the manufacture of surfactant additives, resins for paint, coating, polyvinyl chloride and the rubber industry.
"Chemical solvent pricing is volatile. We see our next growth catalyst in the manufacture of more of specialty chemicals. Although the volume is significantly smaller, it fetches better profit margin and in the longer term reaps more stable earnings," he said.
Ng also expressed interest of ChemStationAsia becoming more green by implementing more eco-friendly policies and dealing with more renewable materials.
"We emphasise on safety, health and environmental protection in the delivery of the chemicals. Clients are willing to pay a little premium for consistent quality and our commitment to the green movement," he said.