Tier One player Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC) is set to enter the Myanmar industrial gases market after announcing plans to establish an affiliate company in the country.

The wholly-owned company will be named Taiyo Nippon Sanso Myanmar Corporation and will be located in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, situated around 20kms from the country’s largest city, Yangon.

The new affiliate will construct an air separation unit (ASU) in the same location, which is expected to start up in January 2018. TNSC has set the facility a first-year sales target of approximately 3.8bn kyats ($3m) once operations commence.

Taiyo Nippon Sanso Myanmar Corporation will hold a total of $11m in capital and will focus of the production, purchase and sales on industrial gases as well as the engineering and construction of machinery and piping.

Growing interest

Many of the larger regional gas companies have started to turn their attention towards the Myanmar market over the past few years, evidenced by Japanese gas producer Iwatani also announcing its intent to launch at least one ASU in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone before 2020.

One of the first to set up operations in the country was Yangon Industrial Gases (YIG) – a partner of Thailand-based Bangkok Industrial gases (BIG) – which itself is a joint venture between Air Products and Bangkok Bank.

As James Barr, Senior Business Analyst, explained, “YIG currently run a cylinder business in the region and have hinted at constructing an ASU in the next few years. In 2015, the industrial gases market in Myanmar was valued at around $35m, but with the reported influx of new capacity and expected ramp-up in demand, we expect to see very high growth rates in the South Pacific rim country over the next few years.”