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Steel maker opens P3B plant in Davao

/ 05:42 AM December 10, 2014

MANILA, Philippines–Steel Asia, the Philippines’ biggest steel manufacturer, has just completed and started operating its P3-billion steel plant in Davao City, in time for the expected explosive growth of the region following the signing of the Bangsamoro peace agreement.

“We have the most modern and biggest plant in the country, which is at par with the world’s best since we are using the latest available technology. More than that, our plant will take care of the environment,” said Ben Yao, Steel Asia president.

The Davao plant will directly and indirectly generate 2,000 jobs.

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Yao said the timing of the plant’s completion was perfect given that the government was now prepared to pump more funds into Mindanao for infrastructure and other services following the signing of the peace agreement.

For 2015, the public works and highways budget for Mindanao will be P63 billion, up 70 percent from P37.5 billion in 2014, P27.5 billion in 2013, and P20 billion in 2012.

As a result, demand for reinforced steel bars (rebars) is expected to grow exponentially and Steel Asia “is in the right place at the right time,” he said.

The plant can produce 500,000 metric tons of rebars yearly, bringing Steel Asia’s total production capacity to two million metric tons from its six plants. This is more than half the country’s demand of 3.3 million metric tons this year.

It has three plants in Luzon, one in the Visayas, two in Mindanao, including the new Davao plant.

Manila stands to benefit as well from the establishment of the Davao mill since dispersing economic activity across the archipelago will decongest Manila ports, he said.

About 75 percent of Steel Asia’s operation is no longer in Manila, but dispersed regionally. SteelAsia Yao said, “We are proud that we are part of the solution in the decongestion of Manila.”

“Eliminating interisland shipping of rebar also helps reduce the carbon footprint” according to Yao. “Steel Asia will set the example to show that industries can be responsible partners in growth and in protecting the environment at the same time,” Yao said.

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Given its modern equipment, the plant is power- and fuel-efficient; relies 100 percent on rain water, which will continuously be recycled with zero effluents; has a closed lubrication system ensuring zero oil seepage, and relies on LED lighting.

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TAGS: Davao city, Philippines - Regions, steel, Steel Asia, steel plant
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