Republic Cement eyeing expanded production

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Republic Cement Services, Inc. (RCSI) is considering building production facilities in the Visayas and Mindanao given a government drive to improve the country’s infrastruction.

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RCSI president Don Lee, the move is in response to announcements made by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that more projects were needed in the regions.

“At this point, DPWH is more aggressive in visions, projects and allocations of the budget in Visayas and Mindanao,” Lee told reporters at the sidelines of Innovation Infrastructure Congress on Tuesday.

The Public Works department, he said, needs to ensure that the local industry has enough capacity to serve the country’s development needs.

“It is sending us a reminder to be faster in having more cement capacity in Visayas and Mindanao,” Lee said.

Expansions by cement companies, he added, is critical for sufficient raw material supplies for energy, water, telecommunications and transport projects.

Included in RCSI’s upcoming expansions are an 800,000-ton per year cement grinding facility in Norzagaray, Bulacan that is expected to be operational early next year.

With regard to the industry, Lee said the Cement Manufacturers’ Association of the Philippines had reported a cement demand increase of 18 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier.

“I think [that for the]full year, we’re almost about 13.5 to 14 percent. [We have] one of the healthiest cement markets in the world, driven by construction in infrastructure, individual homes, mid-high rise constructions,” he added.

Lee said he was also confident that Republic Cement would be able to post above industry growth but declined to provide an estimate.

“With our new capacity coming on and new shareholders, we are in a good position to develop new projects and continue to invest ahead of demand. Our two new parents are financially healthy,” he said.

RCSI is a joint venture between Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. and Irish firm CRH.
The two firms last September secured 99.09-percent ownership of Lafarge Republic Inc., which operates the Republic Cement brand, for $530.4 million.

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