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.