New flour mill in Vietnam

by Teresa Acklin
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Consortium to build 90,000-tonne-per-year milling facility near Ho Chi Minh City.

   The Vietnamese government has granted a license for a consortium to build a new flour mill near Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, the Australian Wheat Board has announced.

   The consortium comprises the Australian Wheat Board; Goodman Fielder, an Australian food group with a large stake in flour milling and baking; and VIFON, Vietnam's largest noodle manufacturer. According to the A.W.B. newsletter, Ingrained, the three shareholders will invest a total of U.S.$18.5 million in the project, with Goodman Fielder holding a 52.5% share, VIFON a 30% share and the A.W.B. a 17.5% share.

   The new mill will have an annual milling capacity of 90,000 tonnes with provisions for capacity to double as the market grows. The A.W.B. will be the nominated supplier of wheat to the new facility.

   The mill will be located 10 kilometers from the center of Ho Chi Minh City on a riverside site, ultimately enabling vessels to discharge directly to the mill. Construction began in late 1994, with completion expected within 18 to 21 months.

   Vietnam currently has only one operating flour mill, which was established in 1970 in Ho Chi Minh City. The country imports in excess of 350,000 tonnes of flour annually to meet demand, which is expected to nearly double by 2000. (A detailed discussion of Vietnamese agriculture and milling is featured in the Country Focus on page 34.)

   According to the A.W.B., the Vietnamese government plans to issue over time three more licenses for new mills to reduce the country's dependence on flour imports.