Cement manufacturer Holcim Philippines Inc. said its production capacity is expected to reach 10 million metric tons by the end of the second quarter, strengthening its position as the leading cement company in the Philippines.
Holcim Philippines chief operating officer Sapna Sood said in an interview the debottlenecking of existing cement facilities would add 2 million MT to the group’s existing cement output in the second quarter.
“We certainly had a project where we were looking at all of that safety, debottlenecking. That is near completion. To be completed at the end of this quarter. We will be at 10 million [MT),” Sood said.
Holcim Philippines operates four cement plants in La Union, Bulacan, Misamis Oriental and Davao.
The expansion of the cement capacity through debottlecknecking started in 2015 with target spending cost of $40 million. The move is in line with the expected rise in demand for cement given the government’s thrust to build various infrastructure projects across the country.
“When we look at the country and the infrastructure that is coming in and the commitment that they are making in infrastructure, it is pretty exciting for the country and the industry,” Sood said.
Sood said while the company had no immediate plans to build a new cement plant, Holcim Philippines planned to offer various solutions to help in the implementation various infrastructure projects
“So for us now, it’s about understanding what the administration is committing to in terms of infrastructure and then presenting our solutions in a way that will benefit that and make it faster. That’s one of the things that everyone is looking for is faster cementation,” Sood said.
Total cement industry demand reached nearly 26 million MT as of end-2015, up from 24.4 million MT in 2015.
Cement firms noticed a weakening in cement demand starting in the fourth quarter of 2016 until the first quarter of 2017 because of weak government spending.
Holcim Philippines reported a 37.5-percent drop in net income in the first quarter to P939.4 million from P1.5 billion a year ago, as sales declined 12 percent to P8.8 billion from P10.06 billion.