TTA’s long-term plan is to diversify away from its core bulk
shipping business to ensure stable growth prospects for
In its bid to build up a series of balancing revenue streams,
TTA now has a sizeable presence in the offshore oil and gas
industry through its fleet of support vessels and rigs owned
via various ventures. The company is also now looking at
horizontal investments along the bulk shipping supply chain
which provide synergies with its existing shipping and logistics
In August TTA moved into the energy sector with the Baht
169.6 million acquisition of a 21.18% interest in Merton
Group (Cyprus) Limited, a coal production venture with
reserves in the Philippines.
“TTA’s primary objective for this investment is to increase
its exposure to the energy business, as the global demand for
energy continues to increase,” said M.L. Chandchutha
Chandratat, MD of TTA. “The prospects for the coal business,
which remains a primary fuel for power generation
particularly in the Asian region, remain strong. A variety of
forecasts from industry experts and investment analysts
project coal demand to continuing growing strongly over the
next twenty years or more.”
With substantial parts of the concession area unexplored
and the upfront investment limited, he said the investment
was a good fit with TTA’s strategy.
He also did not rule out additional investments in the
Philippines where administrators are actively seeking to
attract foreign investors.
“Other mining operations in the Philippines do currently
export coal, largely to China for industrial use, and as TTA
currently carries coal for other shipping clients, there would
be potential for TTA to collaborate with Merton Group on
the logistics and transport of coal from the Philippines.”
In the summer TTA also invested some Baht 374 million in
Baconco, a fertilizer trader and manufacturer based in
Vietnam. Chandchutha said the move would help TTA grow
its integrated business model by not only shipping fertilisers
but also trading them.
“The investment in Baconco represents a good
opportunity for TTA to develop fertiliser export and import
activities, which would support the dry bulk shipping
utilisation,” he said.
“TTA has shipped more than 2mt (million tonnes) of
fertiliser on our vessels in 2008 and so far has shipped more
than 1.5mt during the first nine months of 2009.”
Baconco is located next to Baria Serece port, allowing the
company to import raw materials and ship out synthesized
chemical fertilizers and mineral fertilizers such as phosphate and
potash to customers in Vietnam and beyond by sea or river.