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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Sy’s son ventures into cement

Big Boss Cement Inc., a new company majority-owned by a son of retail tycoon Henry Sy, is spending at least P2 billion in cement production.

The company, led by Henry Sy Jr., said the amount would be invested for the first phase of a cement plant in Porac, Pampanga.  

Big Boss Cement president Gilbert Cruz said the company would start producing 1.5 million bags a month of pozzolan cement in March 2018. Cruz said Sy Jr., and not the SM Group, invested in the company.  Sy Jr. is often referred to as the ‘Big Boss’ in the SM Group.

“While the local industry continues to expand production, we believe that there’s still room for more players since a big part of the local supply is imported. We want to deal with imports by offering competitive retail pricing,” Cruz said.

The company plans to eventually upgrade the first plant to fives times its current capacity and build two other facilities in Luzon.

Cruz, an engineer and industrial chemist, said the company would use a new technology and a revolutionary manufacturing process that would not release carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

The process uses readily available material other than clinker. Patent approval is still pending but the process is proven to produce high-quality cement without using extreme heat for cement curing, he said.

Cruz said once Big Boss Cement achieved stable production, it planned to penetrate the Asian market, before making its way to the US and European markets.

He said the investment for the new plant would be about 80 percent cheaper than a traditional cement plant.

“We noticed that all existing suppliers cannot cope with the rise in demand. That’s why we are prepared to undertake the creation of several plants to contribute to the volume needed for construction and infrastructure projects,” he said.

SM Prime Holdings Inc., the property development unit of the SM Group, is one of the largest consumers of cement in the country.

The cement industry forecasts a 13.6-percent growth in cement production to 25 million metric tons this year from 22 million MT in 2017.

Demand is expected to reach 40 million MT in the next 5 years.

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