Holcim Philippines will pour P1 billion (US$20m) over the next 12 months to rehabilitate and improve its Davao City factory to full operations by mid- 2007, the firm’s chief operating officer said Friday. "This P1-billion investment demonstrates our long-term commitment to the economic growth of Davao and the rest of Mindanao," Paul O’ Callaghan said in a statement.
Holcim Davao City’s raw mill silo was decommissioned after the plant broke down in December 2005. To be able to supply the cement needs of the region, the second largest cement manufacturer in the country recommissioned a mothballed line in the factory. The P1 billion, the company said, will be invested in state-of-the-art technology, and improved environmental and safety measures to ensure quality cement.
"Continuing to invest in our spare capacity is what gives us confidence to adjust very quickly to positive changes in the demand landscape. The constant infusion of resources allows us to reactivate our shutdown line in Bulacan, just as we were able to bring into operations our Davao unit within a few months," Mr. O’Callaghan said.
The listed company is optimistic that demand for cement, which has been flat over the recent years, will increase in the next few years. The outlook for 2006, however, remains to be flat or even negative, despite recent announcements by the government to pump-prime the economy with a much more aggressive level of infrastructure spending.