• Cement demand to double by 2021 with infra boost

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    THE Trade department expects domestic demand for cement to nearly double to 40 million metric tons by 2021 with the government’s ambitious infrastructure boost.

    The cement industry expects annual demand growth to accelerate to 12 percent from the 7 percent to 8 percent initial growth projection, Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo told reporters last week.

    Data from the Board of Investments (BOI) showed that demand for cement in 2016 reached 25.96 million metric tons, 24.37 million metric tons of which were locally produced. Imports reached 1.59 million metric tons.

    To expand local supply, Rodolfo said BOI is pushing for investments in cement production by including it on the list of preferred activities under the 2017 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP).

    The 2017 IPP was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last February 28. The companies are still awaiting for the guidelines of the new IPP.

    Preferred activities are eligible for fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. But the 2017 IPP will give incentives only to investors that will put up integrated cement facilities, the Trade official said.

    Rodolfo, who is also the BOI managing head, said two companies were eyeing to put up cement facilities and obtain incentives.

    He did not provide details on the prospective cement investments, but said investments for an integrated cement facility range from $250 million to $600 million per line.

    “It will be better if local companies will be supplying for the demand rather than importing it,” the official said in Filipino.

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