Amid booming demand for high-quality construction materials, Meranti Singapore is planning to build a steel galvanising plant and paintline in Thilawa special economic zone. The firm intends to spend US$85 million on the facility, and is in discussion with the SEZ operator and potential local partners, its chief executive told The Myanmar Times. “We’re in advanced discussions with [operator] Myanmar Japan Thilawa Development and plan to sign the reservation agreement at the beginning of next year,” CEO Sebastian Langendorf said. The firm is also looking for a local and international partner for what will be a joint venture project. “There will be one local partner and for an international strategic partner we’re talking to steel and trading companies that will help us get the raw materials,” he said. Meranti was established specifically to set up a factory in Thilawa. The planned factory will galvanise and paint imported steel, with sales focused mainly on the domestic Myanmar building and construction market.