Displaying items by tag: Philippines
Philippines: Republic Cement Services Inc (RCSI) is considering building production facilities in Visayas and Mindanao following a government drive to improve the country's infrastructure.
According to RCSI president Don Lee, the move is in response to announcements made by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that more projects were needed in the regions. "At this point, DPWH is more aggressive in visions, projects and allocations of the budget in Visayas and Mindanao," said Lee. The Public Works department, he said, needs to ensure that the local industry has enough capacity to serve the country's development needs. "It is sending us a reminder to be faster in having more cement capacity in Visayas and Mindanao." Lee said that expansions by cement companies are critical for sufficient raw material supplies for energy, water, telecommunications and transport projects. Included in RCSI's upcoming expansions are an 800,000t/yr grinding plant in Norzagaray, Bulacan that is expected to be operational early in 2016.
Lee said that the Cement Manufacturers' Association of the Philippines had reported a year-on-year cement demand increase of 18% in the third quarter of 2015. "I think that for the full year, we're about 13.5 – 14%. We have one of the healthiest cement markets in the world, driven by construction in infrastructure, individual homes and mid-high rise constructions," said Lee.
Lee said he was also confident that Republic Cement would be able to post above industry growth. "With our new capacity coming on and new shareholders, we are in a good position to develop new projects and continue to invest ahead of demand. Our two new parents are financially healthy," said Lee.
RCSI is a joint venture between Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc and CRH. The two companies secured 99.09% ownership of Lafarge Republic Inc, which operates the Republic Cement brand, for US$530m.
Philippines: Cement sales grew by nearly a fifth, or 18.6%, in the third quarter of 2015 on the back of increased consumer spending, according to the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CeMAP).
CeMAP president Ernesto Ordoñez said that the country's total cement sales reached 6.4Mt in the third quarter of 2015, from 5.4Mt in the same period of 2014. The growth was attributed to the expansion of several infrastructure projects in both the public and private sectors, as well as the increased budget of the government for infrastructure projects. "The weather was also better this year compared last year, so that was also a factor," said Ordoñez, who also identified the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit as a sales driver. He is optimistic that cement sales will continue their upward trajectory for the rest of 2015.
Philippines: Holcim Philippines' profits more than doubled in the third quarter of 2015 due to strong sales from sustained construction activity into the rainy season. Its net income grew to US$32.5m from US$15.3m in the same period of 2014. Its net sales rose by 23.2% year-on-year to US$212m.
Holcim Philippines' profits for the first nine months of 2015 grew by 12.7% to US$96.7m. This brings the company's sales for the first nine months of 2015 to US$595m, some 9.44% higher than in same period of 2014. Cement demand was healthy nationwide and strongest in Visayas and Mindanao, with no let-up in the building activity by both the private and public sectors.
Holcim Philippines Country CEO Eduardo A Sahagun said that the company's third quarter results were made possible by the improved performance of the plants, which can now operate longer before maintenance activities. "Demand usually dips during the rainy season but this time, we experienced even stronger demand in the third quarter. Under these conditions, it is critical to sustain operations to support the market and we did so due to the steady investments for better plant performance," said Sahagun. Sahagun said that logistics operations also improved with more flexibility to supply the National Capital Region through its newly-acquired Holcim Manila Terminal.
San Miguel Corporation has upped the pace of its capacity expansion this week to a US$1bn investment towards five new 2Mt/yr cement plants in the Philippines. The announcement builds on its previous plans to build two plants for US$800m. At that time construction had already begun at subsidiary Northern Cement's plant in Pangasinan and Quezon. Plants in Bulacan, Cebu and Davao have now joined the list for completion in 2017.
The scale of this expansion is vast considering that the Philippines has 17 active cement plants with a total integrated production capacity of 24.6Mt/yr. San Miguel president and COO Ramon Ang's comments to media that if there were an oversupply of cement the market would correct itself in a couple of years may sound flippant to anyone who isn't the head of a multi-billion dollar corporation. However, if achieved it will propel the San Miguel subsidiaries from the country's fourth largest cement producer to its largest.
However each of the other major producers also have their own expansion plan in various stages of completion. Holcim Philippines announced US$40m plans in May 2015 to expand its production capacity to 10Mt/yr by the end of 2016, mainly through reviving existing projects. Cemex announced plans in May 2015 to spend US$300m towards building a new 1.5Mt/yr integrated line at its Solid Plant. Lafarge Republic had plans in April 2015 to raise its cement output through the opening of grinding plants at its Rizal and Bulacan cement plants. The former was opened in April 2015 but this is the one plant that hasn't been acquired by CRH following the sale of Lafarge Republic in the run-up to the LafargeHolcim merger. The latter was last reported due for opening in December 2015.
The big change in the Philippine cement industry in 2015 has been the merger of Lafarge and Holcim to form LafargeHolcim. Given that Lafarge Republic and Holcim Philippines held over 55% of the country's production capacity before the merger, it was inevitable that they would be forced to sell off assets. In the end CRH picked up most of Lafarge Republic's cement assets bar the Teresa Plant in Rizal, which stayed with Holcim. The merger has skewed the market towards one clear leader, LafargeHolcim (9.5Mt/yr), followed by Cemex (4.73Mt/yr) and CRH (4.19Mt/yr) with similarly sized cement production bases. These producers are then chased by San Miguel (2.15Mt/yr) and the other smaller firms. If San Miguel succeeds in its expansion strategy then the market will change once again.
Cement sales rose by 11.1% to 11.9Mt in the first half of 2015 according to the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CeMAP). They attributed this growth to strong construction activity helped by increases in government infrastructure spending. Alongside this, gross domestic product (GDP) is predicted to rise by 6% in 2015 and 6.3% in 2016 by the Asian Development Bank. Another promising sign for development came from a study by Antoinette Rosete of the University of Santo Tomas which forecast that cement demand would meet 27Mt/yr. Capacity utilisation rates rose to 85% from 68% in 2014 according to Department of Trade and Industry data.
With this kind of encouragement, no wonder San Miguel is betting on such a large expansion project. If Rosete's forecast and capacity utilisation rates hold then the Philippines might need a capacity base of around 36Mt/yr. San Miguel's growth will fill that gap.
Of course other players might have their own ideas about giving away market share. LafargeHolcim and Cemex are likely to be saddled with debt or existing projects. CRH meanwhile is the wildcard as its expansion strategy is opaque. In recent years it has seemed to focus on acquisitions over building its own projects. The Euro5.2bn the company has spent on buying Lafarge and Holcim assets this year seems likely to slow down investment on any internal development plans. However CRH is bringing in local partner Aboitiz in the Philipines to help with a US$400m loan.
The Philippines is clearly an exciting market for the cement industry at the moment. One consequence of the current situation is that it may signal what CRH's global intentions are following the LafargeHolcim merger. If it decides or is able to start building new capacity then it may reveal the start of a new phase for the Ireland-based multinational.
Philippines: San Miguel Corporation will invest US$1bn to build five new cement plants in different parts of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The amount is higher than the earlier announced US$800m due to the addition of three new cement plants to the two previously disclosed facilities.
San Miguel president and COO Ramon Ang said that the five new plants would have a total capacity of 10Mt/yr, 2Mt/yr at each plant. The plants are expected to be operational in 2017. The projects will be undertaken by affiliates Northern Cement and Eagle Cement in Pangasinan, Bulacan, Quezon, Cebu and Davao. San Miguel owns a 35% stake in Northern Cement, while Eagle Cement is privately-owned by Ang.
Ang said that now is a good time to invest in cement because a lot of people are investing in real estate. He added that if ever there were ever oversupply, the market would correct in two to three years. The additional 10Mt/yr capacity would bring San Miguel's cement capacity to roughly 16Mt/yr. Ang said that the cement industry of the Philippines currently has 33Mt/yr of cement capacity, which would increase to 43Mt/yr once San Miguel's new cement plants are in place.
Ireland/Philippines: CRH has completed the Philippines element of its Euro6.5bn acquisition of certain Lafarge-Holcim assets and as such has now completed the entire deal.
On 2 February 2015, CRH announced that it had reached agreement to acquire certain assets from Lafarge and Holcim for a total enterprise value of Euro6.5bn. On 3 August 2015, CRH confirmed that the majority of the transaction was complete, with the exception of the operations in the Philippines. In a press release issued on 15 September 2015, CRH announced that the Philippines element of the transaction is now complete.
Philippines: A leak in Solid Cement's fuel storage tank in Antipolo is suspected of releasing an estimated 2000L of bunker fuel into a river system in Rizal, raising concerns that it may reach Laguna Lake.
"Initial investigation showed that the leak was from a fuel storage tank located at the Solid Cement Plant in Antipolo. It appears that the strong gusts of wind and heavy downpour caused the leak to reach the Kaynaog Creek leading to the Tagbak River," said Chito Maniago, Solid Cement's communications director.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported that its Laguna de Bay Station received a call from Jerome Mateo of the Morong local government on 8 September 2015 to report an oil spill in the vicinity of the Teresa River. The PCG said that its team, along with representatives from the Marine Environmental Protection, discovered that approximately 2000L (10 drums) of bunker oil had been spilled at the river.
The initial investigation showed that the spill came from Solid Cement, located at Sitio Tagbac, Barangay San Jose in Antipolo. The PCG team was also informed that traces of the oil spill was found on the Morong River in Barangay Poblacion, Morong, which it later confirmed. The team took oil samples from both sites and the cement plant as part of its investigation.
The PCG said that it advised Solid Cement to lay out oil spill booms at the villages that reported traces of oil in their part of the river; Barangay May-iba and Barangay Poblacion along the Morong River. The company has duly deployed three oil spill booms to date and will put in place additional oil spill booms at the mouth of Morong River leading to Laguna Lake.
"The safety of the community and the environment remain our priority. We assure everyone that we are on top of the situation to immediately resolve this incident. Our investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of this leakage. We will provide updates as soon as available," said a Solid Cement spokesperson.
Philippines: Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc, a Philippine investment holding company, has signed a US$400m loan to help fund the acquisition of the Philippine assets and business of cement maker Lafarge SA. The loan is being provided by The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd.
Aboitiz Equity signed a deal with CRH in May 2015 to allow it to join the Irish building materials company in buying Lafarge's cement plants in the Philippines. CRH earlier agreed to buy the assets as part of Lafarge and Holcim assets that were due to be sold off prior to the formation of LafargeHolcim. Aboitiz Equity had said the investment is part of efforts to expand in infrastructure development.
Philippines: Holcim Philippines will invest up to US$40m to expand its production capacity from 8Mt/yr to 10Mt/yr target by the end of 2016.
Holcim Philippines president and CEO Eduardo A Sahagun said that the company was gearing up to improve its facilities in Calaca and Mabini in Batangas, as well as in Norzagaray in Bulacan. Sahagun said that the newly-acquired Star terminal of Lafarge Republic would also increase its production capacity.
"We are reviving a lot of projects. Our Calaca plant is easily adjustable to additional volume as well as the Mabini plant and the Star terminal. The Star terminal could double our capacity. Cement demand is growing and we have no option but to raise our supply," said Sahagun. He expects to see surging market demand due to new public-private partnership (PPP) projects and as more infrastructure major players in the country have announced expansion plans.
"The market prospects remain bright as construction activity is expected to continue," said Sahagun. He attributed the growth to higher private construction activities and accelerated government infrastructure spending.
"Our investment in plant upgrades allows our plants to run longer before scheduled maintenance activities. This will pay off in the current market environment as we are able to meet the demands of customers," Sahagun added.
Philippines: Philippine construction activity growth, which slowed to 4.4% in the first quarter of the 2016 fiscal year compared with an average 5% growth in the previous three quarters, appears to have picked up in the second quarter of fiscal 2016, which ended on 30 June 2015, as indicated by Holcim Philippines' sales over the period and reported by Dow Jones.
In the second quarter of its 2016 financial year, Holcim Philippines' net sales rose by 9.7% year-on-year to US$212m, aided by higher sales volumes and prices. Holcim president Eduardo Sahagun said that the company was improving plant efficiency and upgrading it to run longer to cover strong demand. He said that cement prices don't appear to be as big a concern as supply. "We understand that contractors are most concerned with steady cement supply and this is what we are trying to address in the second half," said Sahagun.