The Philippines’ largest steelmaker, SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp., has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China’s HBIS Group Limited for their first integrated iron and steel facility in Lemery, Batangas. The two steel companies inked their deal in Beijing during the recent Philippine-China Business Forum, a side event during President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China. Under the MOU, SteelAsia and HBIS will invest around USD 1 billion for phase one of the Lemery plant.
“As DTI pursues a number of strategic projects, an important investment priority is the establishment of the first-ever modern, Environment-friendly integrated steel mill project in the Philippines,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said. He added, “This is pursuant to the vision of President Duterte to establish the first integrated iron and steel plant during his term, which will allow the country to produce basic iron and steel products, including flat products. These are currently not being produced in the Philippines.”
The trade chief noted that another Chinese firm, Panhua Group, is interested to invest in integrated steel making in the Philippines. Panhua is eyeing to start construction on its 300-hectare integrated steel Manufacturing plant in Misamis Oriental by the end of this year to meet the needs of the domestic market as the Philippine government pursues its Infrastructure program.
Panhua Group Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Xinghua Li said they will invest USD 3.5 billion over the next three years for the project’s first phase creating up to 30,000 jobs. There are also plans for Phase 2 and Phase 3 to increase production capacity to cater to local market demand.
Once completed, the plant located in PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate will have an annual capacity of 10 million tons per year of steel slabs and galvanized color coated steel coil, among others. The bulk of their production will supply the local market, particularly the government’s “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) Infrastructure program; while a portion will be going to export markets such as the European Union, United States, and Russia.
(Source: Philippine News Agency)