INDUSTRIALIZATION. Dinagat Islands Governor Nilo Demerey Jr. (right) and SMC president and CEO Ramon S. Ang. Demerey confirmed SMC’s decision to establish a USD500 million electric car battery plant in Dinagat Islands after his meeting with Ang on Wednesday (July 27, 2022). (Photo courtesy of Gov. Nilo Demerey Jr.)

BUTUAN CITY – San Miguel Corp. (SMC), one of the country’s largest and most diversified conglomerates, is set to open a USD500 million electric car battery plant in Dinagat Islands province, Governor Nilo Demerey Jr. said Thursday.

Demerey confirmed the company’s decision to establish the plant in Dinagat Islands after his meeting with SMC president and chief executive officer Ramon S. Ang on Wednesday.

“The establishment of the electric car battery plant will commence in September this year,” Demerey said in an interview.

The plant will be constructed within the company’s 25,000 mining claim in the province, he added.

“This is part of our efforts to industrialize Dinagat Islands and create more job opportunities, increase the income of the province, and uplift the lives of our people,” Demerey said.

He said the construction and full operation of the electric car battery plant would generate about 10,000 jobs.

“The components for the manufacture of electric car batteries are already present on the island,” Demerey said.

The SMC has mining interests in the towns of Cagdianao, San Jose, and Basilisa. Its mining claims are reportedly rich in minerals, such as nickel, manganese, chromite, and iron that are needed for the manufacture of the batteries.

“We are now working on the necessary documents and pertinent papers for the start of the construction of the plant in September,” Demerey said.

He thanked President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for supporting the initiatives of the local officials of the Dinagat Islands for industrialization.

“President Marcos is instrumental in this endeavor, especially in the setting up of this battery plant in the Dinagat Islands,” Demerey said.

Other matters between the provincial government and the SMC about the construction of the plant, such as tax holidays, are still being finalized, the governor said. (PNA)