Source: Manila Standard
The Trade Department on Monday welcomed $4.5 billion worth of investments committed by Chinese companies Huili Investment Fund Management Co. Ltd. and Yi Ding Tai International Corp.
The investments in iron and steel manufacturing and shipbuilding will generate 8,000 jobs, according to the department.
“This is one of several investment proposals we have received on the steel industry that will allow us pursue President Duterte’s vision of having a globally competitive iron and steel industry, to support the growing economy, to alleviate poverty and to create jobs for every Filipino,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
Huili Fund, a private equity firm based in Beijing, signed a letter of intent for the steel manufacturing investment in March 2017. This was endorsed by China’s Ministry of Commerce.
The two-phase project of a world-class integrated steel manufacturing facility will employ 6,000 people by 2022.
Huili Investment Fund Management Co. Ltd. chairman Meng Xiaosu, who recently paid a courtesy call on Lopez, said the first phase of the project would include production of billets, long and flat products while the second phase would involve iron ore processing.
A feasibility study is currently being conducted that includes the ideal location to set up the facility. The location’s proximity to the port and the cost of electricity are being considered in the study.
“Producing the steel here will be favorable to both parties as it will generate jobs for Filipinos and be cost-effective for the company. This complements our drive to provide opportunities to uplift the lives of those at the bottom of the pyramid as we take a step forward to inclusivity and shared prosperity for all,” Lopez said.
Xiaosu said a facility in the Philippines which was a part of the Maritime Silk Road would help the company expand in the region while reaching other Southeast Asian countries with lower freight cost.
Lopez said the project would also contribute to the Philippine Manufacturing Resurgence Program through knowledge-sharing of advanced technological know-how in support of the Philippines’ bid to be a major producer of high-quality and safe steel products by 2030.
Meanwhile, Yi Ding Tai International selected the Philippines for the development of a shipbuilding and ship repair facility for frontier-island, regional size vessels with 15,000 deadweight tons. The project would include advanced ship and vessel designing, manufacturing, repair, sales and financial support.
Feasibility studies are currently ongoing following international maritime safety standards as the company plans to investing in an SBSR facility with a local company in the Philippines worth $1.5 billion.
The facility is set to open job opportunities for at least 2,000 people by 2022.