SteelAsia, Chinese firms eye USD4.4-B steel complex in Mindanao

By Kris Crismundo

December 14, 2018, 6:28 pm

MANILA -- The country’s largest steel producer, SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp., is partnering with Chinese firms Hebei Iron and Steel (HBIS) Group and Huili Investment Fund Management Co., Ltd. to build an integrated steel complex in Mindanao.

The three companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) Friday for the construction of a USD4.4-billion Philippine Iron and Steel Project in Misamis Oriental.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez noted that this is the largest investment from China going into the Philippines so far.

“This project is very important to our industrial development and will allow us to pursue President Duterte’s vision of having a globally competitive integrated iron and steel industry, to support the growing economy, to alleviate poverty, and to create jobs for every Filipino,” Lopez said.

The project will be located in Park 5 of PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental covering 305 hectares of land.

This will be in two phases, the first phase of which is expected to cost USD3 billion and create 6,000 new jobs. The second phase of the project will amount USD1.4 billion.

The facility is expected to produce three million to five million metric tons of different steel products every year.

“We can anticipate that this investment in our industry will catalyze the development of various downstream manufacturing, creating a more robust economy and generating tens of thousands of jobs,” SteelAsia President and Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Yao said.

Yao said it is an opportune time for this kind of investment in the local steel industry with the record-high demand for steel, which is expected to grow rapidly. (PNA)