Taiheiyo introduces ’green cement’

Taiheiyo introduces ’green cement’
Published: 01 October 2008

Cebu City, Philippines: Cement company Taiheiyo Cement Philippines Inc. (TCPI) has adopted the concept of “green cement” following concerns on the rising prices of fuel and its effects on the environment.

TCPI has recently launched Grand Premium, a new product which has the same quality as Portland cement but costs five pesos less for every 40kg bag. Portland cement costs between P196 and P198. This means Grand Premium is sold between P191 to P193 in distribution outlets.

TCPI president and chief executive officer Toshio Komatsu said there has been a significant increase in the company’s production cost this year compared to 2007.

Komatsu said imported coal now cost US$150/t, an increase of US$70 than last year. The plant’s machines operate on coal.

“China, Vietnam and Indonesia prioritize domestic (coal) consumption than export so we have to manage our resources. Production of Portland is fuel-intensive,” he told reporters last Wednesday.

With the development of Grand Premium, Komatsu said they hope to encourage private and public contractors to shift to environment-friendly materials. Less heat is used in manufacturing Grand Premium, hence less fuel is needed and eventually less carbon dioxide emissions are produced, said Teodorico Funtanar, assistant plant manager for operations division.

Rolando Buhisan, senior manager of engineering division, said Grand Premium has Philippine tuff, a natural mineral which is locally sourced. This material contributes in making the product resistant to chemical attack especially in seawater construction, where steel bars are susceptible to corrosion. Buhisan said Grand Premium is an “all-purpose cement” which can be used for high-rise buildings, water pipes, concrete hollow block filling and sewerage system construction among others.

Senior marketing manager George Uy said the product is available in the market since September but there has been less awareness among contractors on its benefits.

Uy, however, expressed optimism that consumer mentality of buying quality product at lower cost will increase the market share of the product. “It takes longer for government projects to adopt new projects because maybe it is specified in the contracts. It is the private sector which are now using Grand Premium,” Uy said.

Last April, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visited the TCPI plant in San Fernando to inaugurate its third silo facility, where Grand Premium is currently stored. TCPI started in November 2000, after Japanese company, Taiheiyo Cement Corp. took over the management of Grand Cement Manufacturing Corp. after acquiring majority shares of the company.