DBP, GSIS, PBB extend P8.3 B to complete SteelAsia’s P18-B mill

State-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS),  and Philippine Business Bank (PBB) extended an P8.3-billion loan to SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp. for the completion of its P18-billion steel section mill and support the company’s thrust to establish a fully  integrated Philippine steel industry.

With the loan, the SteelAsia would be able to complete the country’s first sections mill located in Lemery, Batangas. It will be able to start producing beams and bars by 2025 and substitute steel imports. Apart from rebars, the Philippines imports over 80 percent of its steel requirements.

The lenders, which signed the loan agreement at the GSIS headquarters, were represented by GSIS President and General Manager Arnulfo “Wick” Veloso, DBP President Michael de Jesus and PBB President and CEO Rolando Avante.

“Steel is an investment priority of the Marcos administration. Because of this loan from GSIS and DBP, and the ever-supportive PBB, we are finally on our way to having a Philippine steel industry,” said Benjamin Yao, SteelAsia Chairman and CEO.

“Our plant in Lemery, Batangas will be the Philippines’ first steel sections mill. It will be fully commissioned in 2025 and will substitute the importation of steel sections products like H beams, I beams, and angle bars that are used for infrastructure like bridges, railways, high-rises, industrial buildings, telco towers and transmission towers,” he added.

In a statement, the company said that mill section is its seventh plant. The other plants are producing rebars.

The Philippines imports over 80 percent of its steel requirements but Yao thinks that with a “robust local steel industry, construction costs would go down and create new manufacturing industries, along with tens of thousands of jobs.”

Veloso said, “our investment strategy is fundamentally about nation-building” and its “SteelAsia plant is a prime example of such an investment.”

“We invest in infrastructure projects that not only drive economic growth and ensure stability but also provide long-term sustainable returns,” he said.

He also added that “by enhancing our country's manufacturing capabilities, this project sets the stage for increased domestic production and economic resilience. It addresses our need to reduce dependency on imported steel, which in turn helps balance our trade and keeps more capital within the Philippines. This not only strengthens our economic position but also supports our broader goals of nation-building.”

SteelAsia is touted to be the Philippines’ flagship steel company and industry leader.

The company operates steelmaking, rebar manufacturing and rebar fabrication plants in Bulacan, Batangas, Cebu and Davao.

In 2022 it launched a five-year development plan to upgrade the country’s steel industry. Its Batangas section mill is the second in this pipeline.

Last year, SteelAsia invested P10 billion for a modern rebar mill in Compostela Cebu.