MANILA, Philippines — SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp., which saw production of reinforcing steel bars hit a record by breaching the one million mark in the first half, is investing over P100 billion in the next five years for expansion.
In a statement issued over the weekend, SteelAsia said total production from six operating plants reached 1.023 million metric tons (MT) in the first semester, 11 percent higher than the 925,503 MT in the same period last year.
The firm attributed the record production as of end-June to strong demand from both the public and private sectors which are implementing infrastructure projects.
“We are fortunate to be able to ride on the current infrastructure boom. With sustained economic growth, we believe that SteelAsia, along with the whole steel industry, will also continue to grow and serve more customers,” SteelAsia chairman and chief executive officer Benjamin Yao said.
Of all of SteelAsia’s plants, the steel mill in Meycauayan had the biggest output with 271,329 MT in the first half.
The Meycauayan mill supplies rebars to Metro Manila and Central and Northern Luzon developments.
Davao Works came in second with 257,032 MT, followed by Calaca Works in Batangas with 255,147 MT output in the January to June period.
The balance was accounted for by the second mill in Meycauayan, Bulacan, Cebu Works in Carcar which serves the Visayas region, and San Martin Villanueva, Misamis Oriental in Mindanao.
Amid strong demand, SteelAsia is spending over P100 billion in the next five years to more than double its capacity through more upstream facilities with the establishment of new integrated steelmaking plants using recycling technologies and expansion of its midstream and downstream products to include H beams, sheet piles, wire rods, steel plates, and reinforcing steel mesh that will enable the country to produce basic steel-based materials like pipes, tools, and machinery parts.
“These investments are focused on basic sectors to substitute imports and create linkages to support infrastructure development and downstream industries,” Yao said.
Last year, the country’s total steel imports reportedly reached $4 billion (around P212 billion).
To serve the growing demand for construction steel in the Visayas, Yao said SteelAsia is building a seventh plant in Compostela, Cebu.
He said the company also hopes to break ground for two more plants this year in Central and Southern Luzon.
“We are deliberately bringing our plants closer to our customers. That way, we can give our customers the best price and service with just-in-time delivery and at the same time, help create more jobs for our people in the countryside,” Yao said.
He said the investments are also expected to create savings, bring down the cost of steel and spur regional economic activities.