Displaying items by tag: Philippines
Philippines: Cement sales have surged in the first six months of the year behind robust construction activities in the country, according to the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CeMAP).
CeMAP president Ernesto Ordoñez said that total cement sales rose by 11.1% to 11.9Mt in the first half of 2015 from 10.7Mt in the same period of 2014, according to The Philippine Star. Ordoñez said that construction activity remained strong in the first semester, fuelled primarily by growing business confidence in the country. "The weather was also exceptionally good in the first half of 2015. There were some rains, but generally the weather cooperated very well," said Ordoñez.
For the second quarter of 2015, cement sales grew by 12.5% year-on-year to 6.21Mt. This followed 9.6% growth in the first quarter. According to Ordoñez, growth was higher in the second quarter because the government accelerated its spending. The government, for its part, has been increasing the budget for infrastructure to address gaps and support economic growth. CeMAP is banking on the increase of construction activities in the country to support higher cement sales.
Philippines: According to BusinessWorld, San Miguel Group plans to invest US$2bn to build two cement facilities and a nickel processing plant as part of its diversification efforts into new growth areas.
San Miguel has allocated US$800m for the two 2Mt/yr cement facilities, according to San Miguel president Ramon S Ang. Construction has already begun. One of the facilities is located at Northern Cement's plant in Pangasinan, while the other is being built in Quezon. In 2013, San Miguel paid US$77.5m for a 35% stake in Northern Cement, which is owned by the conglomerate's chairman, Eduardo M Cojuangco, Jr. The facilities, which are expected to be completed in 2017, will be funded by 50% debt and 50% equity.
San Miguel's venture into the cement business comes as it participates in major infrastructure projects. San Miguel-led Optimal Infrastructure Development won the contract for the US$351m second stage of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway Project. San Miguel is also building the US$591m third stage of the Metro Manila Skyway and the Tarlac- Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, as well as expanding the South Luzon Expressway.
South America/Asia: Mexican cement company Cemex has confirmed plans to expand its social responsibility programme to Guatemala, Bangladesh and the Philippines by 2016. The firm intends to installed self-employment production centres (CPA) in these countries to help low-income families renovate their houses.
The initiative, developed in collaboration with authorities and non-governmental organisations, provides construction training and teaches how to manufacture concrete blocks. Half of the production obtained at these centres is used in the construction or renovation of the participants' houses and the other half is bought by local governments to develop infrastructure projects. The income achieved by the initiative is then reinvested by Cemex in the centres.
Cemex already operates 80 CPAs in Mexico and expects to open 20 additional centres in 2015. It has also developed the initiative in Colombia since 2010.
Philippines: The Manila Bulletin has reported that the capacity utilisation of local cement plants has increased to 85% from 68% in 2014 due to strong domestic construction activities, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
DTI undersecretary Victorio Mario Dimagiba said that there is enough cement supply to meet demand. He added that the Philippines had 31.3Mt/yr of cement production capacity in 2014, when consumption was 21.3Mt, or 68%. At present, however, plant capacity utilisation has reached 85%.
The increase in demand in the Visayas and Mindanao areas in the past two weeks was to pre-empt the onset of the rainy season. Dimagiba said that, even though there are cement plants in these regions, there is a huge logistical challenge in the transport of cement to the islands. He added that should local demand in these regions exceed production, imports could augment the shortfall.
Philippines: According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, on 24 June 2015 the Pasig City government brought online what it described as, 'The country's largest facility for turning rubbish into fuel, capable of processing 600t/day of trash.'
The plant, which is Pasig City's joint project with the IPM Construction & Development Corp (IPM) and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), can process almost all of the city's daily waste production into refuse-derived fuel (RDF). Pasig City mayor Maribel Eusebio said that the plant would produce fuel pellets from the waste, which would then be supplied as an alternative fuel to cement plants. The RDF is majority-owned by Basic Environmental Systems & Technologies (BEST), a subsidiary of publicly-listed Minerales Industrias Corp, as well as France-based Lafarge Industrial Ecology International.
The plant mechanically segregates waste, selecting garbage with high thermal value that will be shredded, made into pellets and wrapped into bales. The plant is expected to convert 25 – 35% of the processed waste into alternative fuel for cement kilns. "The plant addresses serious concerns on increasing municipal solid waste and disposal," said Eusebio. "The RDF plant also complies with the waste diversion requirement of Republic Act No 9003 or Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. It also addresses climate change issues associated with how municipal wastes are managed."
The use of RDF in lieu of coal addresses the twin issues of solid waste management and climate change. "This is the largest RDF plant in the Philippines to date," said Isabelita P Mercado, president of IPM, which operates and manages the plant. "This is also a pioneering endeavour to save the environment by reducing our dependence on fossil fuel."
Philippines: According to IHS Maritime 360, the UK's Nectar Group and Seasia Nectar Port Services Inc (SNPSI), which are in a joint venture project to build a US$185.5m dry bulk terminal in Bataan, expect the new facility to launch in early 2016.
"The current schedule is for phase one to be operational from the first quarter of 2016," said a Nectar Group official. "There are planned timeframes for the other two phases, but they are dependent on how well the first phase operates."
The new dry bulk terminal is designed to handle shipments of coal, clinker, silica sand, cement raw materials, steel, fertiliser and other dry bulk cargo. Construction of the terminal will be completed in three phases covering 114,000m2. The first phase covers the development of the port facility with a 247m quay and a 14m draft. Once completed, the terminal will have 3Mt/yr of cargo capacity.
In addition to quayside and open storage areas, SNPSI will also build facilities for warehousing, stevedoring, lightering and other services.
Philippines: According to local media, Cement plants using explosives to extract limestone in the mountains of eastern Bulacan poses a threat that might break the Angat Dam, a large hydroelectric facility that supplies electricity and water to the Manila metropolitan area.
"Years of massive quarrying of mineral deposits in the area had taken its toll. The removal of the mountains in the area is not only ugly, but also appears to be a disaster waiting to happen since the mining area is so close to the Angat dam," said Martin Francisco, chairman of the Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society Inc (SSMSI). He added that since Angat Dam lies along the West Valley fault line, the mining of limestone deposits in the area could weaken the structure of the dam and its foundation because cement plants are still using explosives in extracting marble and limestone.
In a report to Bulacan governor Wilhelmino M Sy-Alvarado, the SSMSI said that residents and a cultural minority group, the Dumagats, have complained about the vibrations and noise in the mountains caused by dynamite blasts. "The explosions are causing too much anxiety and could even scare the people out of their wits since the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has once again confirmed that the West Valley Fault is active. This is another threat to a dam break," said Francisco. He added that several landslides were reported in 2014 and several small sink holes in the mountains have appeared.
Alvarado has formed a team to investigate the matter and has requested that the cement plants refrain from using explosives to extract limestone.
Philippines: Eagle Cement plans to build its production capacity with an investment of US$1.2bn. Owner Ramon S Ang revealed to local media that he intends to build two new 2Mt/yr cement plants at Cebu and Davao in 2015. In addition the company is also adding one more line with a 2Mt/yr production capacity to its existing cement facility in San Ildefonso, Bulacan.
"We are now finishing the second line and preparing to put up a third line. With the third Eagle line, it will be even bigger than the asset being sold by Lafarge," said Ang. Upon completion of the third line, the Bulacan plant will have a production capacity of 6Mt/yr. According to Ang, each cement line with a 2Mt/yr capacity costs US$400m.
Eagle Cement produces and distributes cement under the brands Eagle Cement Advance and Eagle Cement Strongcem.
San Miguel Corp, the Manilla based multinational for which Ang serves as president, formally entered the cement business in 2013 when it paid US$78.6m for a 35% stake in Northern Cement. The cement company with a production facility in Pangasinan has a capacity of 2Mt/yr.
Philippines: Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc has signed a deal with CRH, which when completed would allow it to join CRH in investing in the Philippine cement plants of Lafarge.
CRH had earlier agreed to buy for US$7.34bn in cement assets from Lafarge and Holcim Ltd, whose asset divestments are part of preconditions to winning regulatory approval for their merger. Both Lafarge and Holcim have cement assets in the Philippines. Aboitiz Equity plans to join CRH in acquiring a majority of the shares of Lafarge Republic Inc and the shares in Luzon Continental Land Corp and Lafarge Cement Services Philippines Inc, which constitute the majority of Lafarge's local cement operations.
Aboitiz Equity president Erramon Aboitiz said that if the deal with CRH is finalised, it would provide it with an investment that dovetails with its plan to invest in infrastructure development. The company is already in banking, property development, food manufacturing and power generation and distribution. "Venturing into infrastructure meets our growth criteria. We are very optimistic of the potential gains this new core business will bring to the Group amid the huge demand for infrastructure in the Philippines," said Aboitiz.
The conclusion of deal is subject to the successful completion of the merger between Lafarge and Holcim as well as approval by the boards of both CRH and Aboitiz Equity.
Philippines: Cemex has announced that it is undertaking a new US$300m investment in the Philippines. The new investment will include the construction of a new 1.5Mt/yr integrated cement production line at its Solid Plant in Luzon. This will double the capacity of the Solid plant and will represent a 25% increase in its cement capacity in the Philippines.
"We see a positive outlook in the business environment and we are committed to be a reliable cement supplier given the growing need for high quality building materials required for public infrastructure, commercial projects and housing," said Fernando A Gonzalez CEO of Cemex.
Earlier this month, Cemex Philippines officially inaugurated the completed capacity expansion in its APO plant in Cebu, as well as a network of logistics centres in Visayas and Mindanao. The US$80m investment increased Cemex's cement production capacity in its APO plant by 40% and helped improve distribution capabilities with additional terminals in Iloilo and Davao.
"We are preparing our facilities for the increasing demand in the Philippines, reiterating our commitment to supporting the development of the country," said Joaquin Estrada, president of Cemex Asia. "We endeavour to be a partner of the Philippine government and the business community in ensuring growth and progress."
In addition, Cemex Philippines has set up a US$18.6m waste heat recovery (WHR) unit that will capture the excess heat in one of its cement production facilities to produce usable electricity. Cemex Philippines already uses alternative fuels like rice husks and refuse-derived fuel (RDF) as part of its fuel mix to minimise energy costs.