HBIS Group Co. Ltd., one of China’s biggest steel companies, along with Huili Investment Fund Management Co. Ltd., Steel Asia Manufacturing Corp. and PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority, signed Friday an agreement to build a $4.4-billion integrated iron and steel project in Misamis Oriental province.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the latest business agreement was the biggest industrial investment from China to date. The project comprises of two phases that will generate over 20,000 additional job opportunities.
“This project is very important to our industrial development of having a globally competitive integrated iron and steel industry, to support the growing economy, to alleviate poverty, and to create jobs for every Filipino,” Lopez said.
Huili Investment Fund will fund the first phase of the project costing $3 billion and involving the establishment of two blast furnace plants to produce hot rolled coils to cold rolled coils. It is also financing $1.4 billion for the downstream steel requirement of the appliance sectors and the production of automotive-grade steel.
The first phases will cover the production of 4.5 million tons of hot rolled coil and 600,000 tons of slabs. The project will increase its steel manufacturing capacity to 8 million metric tons under the second phase.
Dominant iron and steel producer SteelAsia will provide the technology and technical backing for construction-grade steel production while PHIVIDEC will provide the long-term lease of the land as a preferred site.
The integrated steel project will wean the country away from importing even small steel products, like wires, wire rods, nails and wire mesh.
The project will occupy a 305-hectare land inside the PHIVIDEC Industrial estate, identified as the most strategically-located industrial zone in the Philippines for heavy industries.
The iron and steel production base is also projected to provide indirect job opportunities up to 65,000 to related businesses.
The Board of Investments said the iron and steel project will reduce the country’s trade deficit, with total domestic and export sales of slabs and hot rolled coils from the project estimated at P144.279 billion.
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