Chinese firms eye two cement plants in the Philippines

Chinese firms eye two cement plants in the Philippines
Published: 13 October 2008

A group of cement producers from China is seriously considering the construction of greenfield plants in the Philippines with a combined output of 3Mt and minimum investments of US$400m.

Francis Chua, Malacañang’s special envoy for trade and investments, told reporters that about 25 members of the Dong Yan Cement Association had met with Trade Secretary Peter Favila to firm up their plans. Dong Yan is one of the major cement- producing cities in China.

“They want to put up two factories here with combined capacity of 3Mta. They are considering to use the Philippine plants to export to other Asean countries,” said Chua.

He said a cement factory with a capacity of 1.5Mta would require investments of at least US$200m.

He said the group recently arrived in the Philippines to assess the local cement industry. Chua said cement prices in China were 50 per cent cheaper and the group was looking at bringing domestic cost lower.

He said the group was in talks with Donald Dee of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who owns a 200ha cement quarry in Montalban, Rizal, and businessman Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corp.
He said Dee would provide the limestone requirements of the proposed plant, while Ang offered his properties as locations for the second factory.

“One partner is Donald Dee and another partner is Ramon Ang of San Miguel. They are looking at putting up one factory in Rizal, near Donald Dee’s quarry. Ramon Ang, meanwhile, is enticing them to Bulacan or Batangas, where he has properties that could accommodate a cement plant,” said Chua.

Dong Yan City is one of the largest cement producers in China with an output of 30Mta. Two local groups earlier disclosed their plans to put up new cement plants to spur market competition. The domestic cement industry is dominated by three foreign groups—Holcim, Lafarge and Cemex.