PhilPhos tapping Indian partner to restore plant

Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Corp., the fertilizer company that filed Southeast Asia’s largest insurance claim of $300 million following the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda in November 2013, is bringing an Indian partner to restore its Leyte-based manufacturing facility.

PhilPhos chairman Salvador Zamora II said he would go to Dubai next week to sign a deal with an Indian company to restore the whole fertilizer complex. He did not identify the foreign partner.

“We will rehabilitate the entire plant. It is expected to be fully operational maybe in 12 to 18 months,” he said. 

Typhoon Yolanda damaged the 128-hectare PhilPhos complex in the 435-hectare Leyte Industrial Development Estate in Isabel, Leyte in November 2013, displacing hundreds of workers.

PhilPhos is the country’s leading producer of phosphatic fertilizer with a rated capacity of 1.17 million metric tons per annum. 

The plant was built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 1984 in Isabel, which is considered an ideal site for the fertilizer complex because of the abundant energy supply from the Tongonan geothermal power plant, deep natural harbor and its convenient location in the central part of the country.

Hundreds of PhilPhos employees lost their jobs and livelihood with the closure of PhilPhos plant, but Zamora said the company was on its way to recovery.

“With Philphos, part of our plant is operational already and we will be entering into an agreement with an Indian company,” he said.

Zamora also expressed optimism the company would collect on the $300-million insurance claim it filed with 23 insurers led by UCPB General Insurance, after typhoon Yolanda leveled the country’s largest fertilizer complex in 2013.

“We hope they [insurance companies] will deliver,” Zamora said.  The amount, he said, was the biggest insurance claim filed by a company in Southeast Asia.

“We were hit by Yolanda. We are a victim of Yolanda.  Our plant was leveled. We filed for the biggest insurance claim in Southeast Asian history—about $300  million.  But we have yet to be paid,” he said.

PhilPhos is negotiating with 23 insurance companies and Lloyds of London, a major market for insurance products.

“It is under negotiations, but they should be paying.  There are 23 insurance companies involved.  This is reinsured with Lloyds of London,” Zamora, 70, said in an interview at Shangri La at the Fort in Bonifacio Global City during the announcement of an exhibition match between Jason Day, the world’s number one golfer and former number one Rory McIlroy on Nov. 29.

Zamora is the  promoter and executive producer of ‘Jason Vs Rory: Battle for a Cause’ presented by PLDT Inc. and Smart. He said Day, who is half Filipino, lost relatives in Leyte during the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda.

Topics: Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Corp. , PhilPhos , PhilPhos chairman Salvador Zamora II , Indian partner , plant restoration
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