A NEW cement facility worth P15 billion will replace the current production line at Taiheiyo Cement Philippines Inc. (TCPI) in San Fernando, Cebu, the company announced Thursday, Nov. 12.
This after its mother company in Tokyo, Taiheiyo Cement Corp. (TCC) approved the project that will increase its capacity from 2,500 tons of clinker per day to 6,000 tons, or some three million tons of cement a year by mid-2024.
It was on Oct. 30, 2017 when Shuji Fukuda, then TCC president and now chairman of the board, committed this investment to President Rodrigo Duterte and Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez during a state visit in Japan.
“TCPI will construct a state-of-the-art production facility, incorporating Taiheiyo’s high-level technology and experience to contribute to meeting the strong demand for cement in the Philippines,” its statement said.
Demand for cement in the country, the company estimated, increased by 30 percent from 2015, reaching 32 million tons by the end of 2019, with TCPI contributing seven percent of the demand.
While demand shrunk this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the October 2020 World Bank East Asia and Pacific Economic Update expected it to rise again with strong gross domestic product recovery, estimated to be at 5.3 percent next year.
Lopez, in a separate statement, said Taiheiyo’s expansion plans will support DTI’s cornerstone strategy—Rebuild PH or “Revitalizing Businesses, Investments, Livelihoods and Domestic Demand.” This strategy is designed to jumpstart and reinvigorate the economy by enhancing both production capacity and revitalizing consumption.
In 2019, the Philippines imported US$543.9 million worth of cement, with cement importations increasing by an average of 213.8 percent from 2015. This makes the country the third-largest cement importer in the world after the US and China.
DTI Special Trade Rep. Dita Angara-Mathay reported that, “This year alone, three new investment projects from Japan were announced amid the pandemic: two expansions and one new project in the fields of manufacturing for export and industrial operations.”
“These projects will meet the infrastructure demands of a growing domestic market, and is a fitting testimony of how Philippine-Japan economic ties are continuing to grow from strength to strength,” she said.
10% market share
Coupled with the massive “Build! Build! Build!” infrastructure investment program of the Duterte administration, the TCPI aims to potentially further achieve five million tons per year, representing an estimated 10 percent market share.
The new line will offer significant advantages in terms of energy efficiency and will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy use in clinker production by more than 10 percent compared with the efficiency of the current line, the TCPI said.
Additionally, it is expected that the higher quality clinker produced with the new line will enable a reduction in the clinker factor and realize a further CO2 reduction per ton of cement produced, the company said.
The Taiheiyo Cement Group headquarters in Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan runs diverse businesses from cement, mineral resources, environmental, construction materials to real estate, engineering, data processing, finance, transportation, warehousing, chemicals and sports. (PR/With KOC)