By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Republic Cement Services Inc. said that its two finishing mills with estimated investments of $40 million will be operational by end this year adding two million tons to its existing 7 MMT production capacity.
Nabil Francis, president of this joint venture between the Aboitiz Group and European cement firm CRH, said that financing for the acquisition of two finishing mills with estimated investments of $40 million is done via internally-generated funds.
Once the two finishing mills are put on stream, Republic will become the second largest cement producer in the Philippines. The company operates six cement plants in the country.
Francis did not divulge the investments for the company’s capacity expansion program but explained that an investment for a finished mill with a million ton capacity is estimated to cost $20 million. Investment for the two new finished were made overtime, he said.
Earlier, Republic Cement was quoted for its planned $250 million to $300 million to boost its annual domestic production capacity.
On the imposition by the government of a provisional safeguard measure of P8.40 per 40-kilogram bag of imported cement, Francis said they support this move calling it a very good measure to support the local industry and encourage more investments from local producers and create direct jobs.
He noted that a greenfield cement plant may require a huge investment of P10 billion and tax payments can reach up to P1 billion and as much as 6,000 new direct jobs.
Francis, who spoke to reporters after the press conference of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines where he is also the President, also made assurance against any cement shortage in the local market despite the higher demand of cement amid strong demand and the imposition of cement safeguards by the Department of Trade and Industry to control surges in cement imports.