Displaying items by tag: Philippines
Philippines: Cemex Philippines has announced that it will undertake a US$60m expansion at its APO Cement Plant in Cebu to increase its production capacity by 1.5Mt/yr. The plant currently has a production capacity of 2.9Mt/yr. It wants to keep pace with the rapid growth of the Philippines market. It is also expanding its Antipolo plant, which currently has a mixture of dry and wet process kilns.
Cemex Philippines has supplied cement to numerous road paving projects in the country, which is rapidly developing. Its president Pedro Palomino said, "All industries, all sectors of an economy, rely on a country's infrastructure to support their economic activities. Factors such as reliable transportation and communication networks ensure smooth business operations, that products and services are delivered efficiently, on time and at competitive costs."
Three stories this week from the Philippines build a complex picture of a booming cement industry. San Miguel purchased a 25% stake in Northern Cement, Lafarge Republic announced its capital expenditure budget for 2013 and the country's on-going price probe reported on its progress.
San Miguel's entry into the market should raise the most interest since its president stated that the company intends to spend US$750m on the construction of three cement plants. Each plant will have a cement production capacity of 2Mt/yr with construction timed to start in 2013 and finish by the end of 2015.
This level of investment, if it happens, surpasses the last major build announcement in the Philippines. In May 2013 Holcim released details of a US$550m plant in Bulacan with a capacity of 2.5Mt/yr. Some indication of the viability of San Miguel's plans may be gleaned from the comparative costs of the projects. San Miguel's plans will cost US$125/t of installed capacity, less than half of Holcim's US$220/t. Possible reasons for this difference may lie in San Miguel releasing the wrong figures or a reliance on lower build quality. However San Miguel's sheer size - its net income was US$2.25bn in 2011 - may itself herald the start of a major player in the domestic cement industry.
Meanwhile the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has continued to investigate why the price of cement has risen since 2012. Currently prices are about 5% above the suggested retail price for cement. Cement producers blamed the increases on a higher cost of coal.
The Philippines is currently experiencing massive cement sales increases. In 2012 sales rose by 17.5% to 18.4Mt from 15.6Mt in 2011. With a total capacity of 21Mt/yr and a capacity utilisation rate of 85% in 2012, this growth looks set to continue in 2013, as confirmed by more rises in sales in the first quarter.
Philippines: Lafarge Republic has set aside US$47m for capital expenditure in the Philippines in 2013 to increase cement production capacity to meet demand. President Renato Sunico made the announcement at the company's annual stockholders' meeting in response to a profit of US$23.6m in the first quarter of 2013, a 35% increase year-on-year from US$17.5m in 2012. He added that the industry expects total demand for cement to increase by 6 to 8% in 2013.
Lafarge Republic is increasing its capital expenditure for a new mill at its plant located in Teresa, Rizal which will have a capacity to produce 850,000t/yr from 2015 onwards. It is also automating the processes of some of its plants, including that in Norzagaray, Bulacan. Sunico added that various productivity improvement projects are also expected to deliver additional capacity to supply the rising cement consumption. He noted that the company is planning to add an additional 2.3Mt/yr in cement milling capacity by 2015 to its current capacity of 6Mt/yr.
"We are predominantly strong in Luzon because all our four plants are here. We wanted a national footprint so we are moving to Davao, Iloilo, Batangas and mostly to Cagayan," said Sunico. He added the company is relying on the growth of high-rise real estate projects, increasing remittances of overseas Filipino workers and increases in the call centre industry to boost cement demand.
In 2012 Lafarge Republic spent US$35.3m on improvements at its cement plant in Danao City, for its Iligan City pre-heater project and the construction of the feeding system for refuse-derived fuel (RDF) at its Bulacan plant.
Philippines: The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has asked cement producers in the Philippines to justify recent price hikes that led prices to exceed the suggested levels set by the agency.
Trade Undersecretary Zenaida C Maglaya said the three largest cement firms in the country - Holcim Philippines, Lafarge Republic, Cemex Philippines - have started submitting documents to support adjustments in their prices. Eagle Cement is set to meet with DTI and Board of Investment (BOI) officials to explain its pricing scheme. Maglaya said one of the large cement manufacturers had made a submission but had yet to complete all requested data due to 'antitrust issues', referring to laws addressing anti-competitive behavior among corporations.
In April 2013, Maglaya said that cement companies had increased their prices due to the higher cost of coal, a raw material that accounted for about 25% of the cement industry's manufacturing costs. Holcim reportedly raised its price by 11%, Lafarge by 7%, Cemex by 15% and Eagle Cement by 5%.
In 2012, the Cement Manufacturers' Association of the Philippines (Cemap) reported record-high sales of 18.4Mt, up by 17.5% from 15.6Mt in 2011. This was due to the boom in public and private construction projects. In the fourth quarter of 2012, 4.4Mt of cement were sold compared to 4Mt in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Philippines: San Miguel Corporation has purchased a 35% stake in Northern Cement Corporation for US$72.1m and plans to finance the aggressive expansion of the company. San Miguel president Ramon Ang said the conglomerate would spend US$750m for the construction of new cement plants for Northern Cement, a company that is controlled by San Miguel chairman Eduardo Cojuangco.
Ang, who is also the chief of operations of San Miguel, said the company plans to expand the operation of Northern Cement by building three more plants at a cost of US$250m each.
Ang said that one plant would be built in the existing site in Pangasinan, another in Southern Luzon and a third in Cebu. Each plant will have a capacity of 2Mt/yr.
"All of these projects will happen within 2013 and are likely to be completed within two years," said Ang. "Eventually, San Miguel wants to build more plants to become the dominant cement manufacturing company in the Philippines." He added that Northern Cement aims to secure at least a 30% share of the cement market, which had 'huge potential.' "The revenue potential for each 2Mt/yr plant is estimated at US$200m/yr," he said.
Philippines: Holcim Philippines plans to construct a 2.5Mt/yr cement plant in Bulacan costing US$550m. Holcim Philippines chief executive Ed Sahagun said in a news briefing that the company had obtained first phase approval from its parent company Holcim.
The approval will allow the cement producer to obtain quotations, organise a project team and proceed with securing permit requirements. Final approval will be discussed in September 2013. Holcim Philippines plans to have the new plant on stream by 2016. Sahagun said that he expected demand for cement to further improve, once the public-private partnership projects were implemented.
Holcim Philippines' net income in the first quarter of 2013 grew by 77.2% to US$35.1m from US$19.8m in the same period in 2012, due to increased demand and higher cement prices.
Philippines: A consortium, including a Lafarge subsidiary, has officially opened a refuse-derived fuel (RDF) facility at the Payatas landfill in Quezon City in the Philippines. Mundo Verde consists of Lafarge Industrial Ecology International SA, landfill operator IPM Environmental Services (IPM- ESI), waste management consultancy Basic Environmental Systems & Technologies (BEST), as well as engineering consultancy Pennies and Pounds Holdings.
"The facility will help reduce the volume of waste in the Payatas landfill, while at the same time produce RDF, an alternative fuel that can be used in the cement-making process," said Mundo Verde in a statement.
The facility started operations on 22 January 2013 and it is expected to increase RDF production to 150t/day from 50t/day. The landfill site receives an estimated 1200t/day of solid water of which about 30% will be processed by the facility. Waste processing is expected to prolong the lifespan of the landfill by three to four years.
The facility's RDF will be used at Lafarge Republic cement plants. Currently, coal comprises 75% of the cement producer's fuel with the remaining 25% made up of alternative fuels such as rice husks, discarded plastics, and sludge. RDF comprises 5 - 10% of the producer's alternative fuel use.
Philippines: Cement sales in the first quarter of 2013 have risen by 3% to 4.80Mt from 4.63Mt in the same period in 2012, due to increased demand driven by the peak construction season. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, sales rose by 8.5% from 4.41Mt.
Cement producers are preparing for capacity expansion due to existing strong domestic demand and an expected boost from the full implementation of huge infrastructure projects under the government's Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme.
Capacity expansion projects include a Holcim Philippines plant of up to 2.5Mt/yr costing up to US$500m. The project, which is awaiting approval, is expected to be operational by 2017. Cemex is to raise capacity at its plant in APO by 1.5Mt/yr with an investment of US$65m. The project is expected to be operational by 2014. Lafarge Republic plans raise capacity by 1Mt/yr with an upgrade of its Danao grinding plant in Cebu and debottlenecking its Norzagaray plant's mill in Bulacan. By the first quarter of 2013, Lafarge hopes to supply an additional 0.2Mt/yr to Luzon, 0.65Mt/yr to Visayas and another 0.1Mt/yr to Mindanao.
The Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) has petitioned the Board of Investments for the inclusion of the industry in the 2013 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) to be eligible for government incentives, including an income tax holiday.
According to Eduardo Sahagun, CEO of Holcim Philippines, the Philippines cement industry has a total capacity of 21Mt/yr and in 2012 it sold 18.5Mt, a capacity utilisation rate of 85%. In 2012 the industry grew by an 'extraordinary' 18%, fuelled by private and public construction projects.
Philippines: The National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) in the Philippines announced on 8 April 2013 that it was concerned about rising prices for cement.
"We will be sending letters to cement producers to ask them why their prices have gone up," said Trade Undersecretary Zenaida C Maglaya in a briefing after a meeting of the NPCC. "We have to ask them the reason because it may be that they consumed more coal, which went up (in price), but there might be another reason." She added that the firms have to send in their reports within the week.
The Trade department also reported that it was investigating Eagle Cement for increasing its prices after it had agreed earlier with the government to sell lower-priced cement. The firm was granted tax perks by the government for its Bulacan cement plant in November 2006.
Philippines: A total of 38 laboratories that conduct proficiency tests on cement products have participated in the fourth round of the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines' (CeMAP) proficiency testing programme. Twelve of the laboratories were from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), 15 from CeMAP members and 11 were non-member or private laboratories. These laboratories are subjected to proficiency test as a requirement for the renewal of their DPWH certificate of accreditation.
"Participation in the proficiency testing programme is a crucial component in our responsibility to ensure that only quality cement products are available in the market," said CeMAP president Ernesto Ordoñez.
Ordoñez disclosed that the programme's first round in 2006 only had CeMAP member laboratories, while rounds two and three involved both CeMAP member and DPWH laboratories. Round four was significant as all the private laboratories involved were required to seek DPWH accreditation. Ordoñez added that this proficiency testing is the first and only one in Southeast Asia. CeMAP intend to conduct the testing annually to monitor the competency and performance of the laboratories.