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SMC expands cement plant capacity on infra demand

/ 12:26 AM September 28, 2015

THE SAN Miguel group has started work on a $200 million cement plant expansion project in anticipation of an increased demand from the infrastructure sector.

In a statement, San Miguel Corp. (SMC) said Northern Cement Corp. recently held groundbreaking ceremonies for the capacity expansion project, which will double annual capacity to over two million tons. Northern Cement is a subsidiary of San Miguel Yamamura Packaging Corp.

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SMC said the demand for cement was growing not just in Northern Luzon but also “across all population centers in the country.”

“The economy and infrastructure sector are growing rapidly and by expanding [Northern Cement], we are supporting the development efforts of the Philippine government and reducing dependence on imported cement,” SMC president Ramon Ang said.

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Established in 1968, Northern Cement is one of the pioneers in the local cement industry.

With the entry of the San Miguel group as an equity shareholder in 2012, the firm was able to complete a modernization program by acquiring the latest manufacturing technologies for its existing lines.

SMC also recently announced that it would invest $1 billion to build new cement facilities with a combined annual capacity of 10 million tons in five different locations around the country by 2017.

Ang said the cement plants, each with an annual capacity of two million tons, would be put up in Pangasinan, Bulacan, Quezon, Cebu and Davao.

Ang said by the time SMC’s new cement plants are up and running in 2017, the industry would have grown to around 45 million tons in terms of annual capacity.

Some of SMC’s major projects have been delayed due to the government’s failure to promptly resolve right-of-way issues. These include the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) expressway, the North-South Luzon Expressway (via Skyway) connector road and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway.

The government is trying to boost infrastructure activity, which has weighed down on the economy over the past few years.

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Spending only picked up in the second quarter of the year, bringing the country’s gross domestic product to 5.6%.

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