By James A. Loyola
Cement maker Holcim Philippines, Inc. completed the capacity expansion project of its La Union plant two months ahead of schedule to strengthen its ability to support the fast-growing North Luzon market.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the company said it finished the installation of the new grinding equipment and storage facilities in its plant in Bacnotan, La Union to increase the annual cement production capacity there by 80 percent to around 1.8 million tons.
Latest government data showed that two of the three regions in North Luzon outpaced the national economic growth rate in 2017, led by the Cordillera Administrative Region, which topped the other 16 regions and whose construction industry surged by 23.6 percent.
Holcim Philippines President and CEO John Stull said the increased capacity of its La Union plant enables the company to better support the development of North Luzon.
“This project is proof of our commitment to support our customers as construction activity picks up with the government’s “Build, Build,Build” program,” he said.
Stull added that, “with our expansion and efficiency initiatives, we can better provide a reliable supply of high-quality cement to help our partners advance the region’s development.”
The La Union plant upgrade is part of the first phase of Holcim Philippines’s expansion program. The second phase involves improvements to its Bulacan and Misamis Oriental plants amounting to US$300 million to raise the company’s annual cement production capacity by 30 percent to 13 million metric tons by 2020.