CEMEX invests P2.5 billion to hike output

NAGA CITY, CEBU— Consistent with its thrust of placing assets in areas with opportunities for growth, cement manufacturer CEMEX Philippines is investing P2.5 billion to increase production of its Apo cement plant in Cebu to meet the growing demand nationwide.

Normandy Chan, plant director, said on Wednesday the new investment is expected to boost current cement-making capacity of 2.5 million metric tons (MMT) annually by another 1.5 MMT per year.

“The expansion is our answer to the increasing demand for cement brought about by the continued rise of the Philippine market,” he said.

The expansion program includes the ongoing construction of a vertical mill, which can produce 200 tons of cement per hour, in addition to two existing ball mills with a combined capacity of 170 tons per hour.

Set for completion in the second quarter of 2014, Chan said the upcoming facility boasts of “high production capacity with low specific power consumption.”

As part of the new investment, CEMEX Philippines is also keen on putting up another terminal apart from its three port facilities in Iloilo, Batangas and Manila.

“We’re investing also in terminals to maximize our production [because there’s still a] limitation in our transport system,” the Apo cement plant director said.

Since demand for cement is seasonal, Chan admitted that this limits the company from achieving the full production capacity of 2.5 MMT yearly. In fact last year, he noted that they produced only 2 MMT of cement.

“We need a lot of storages outside the plant for a continued flow and dispatch of our cement,” he said.

With logistical improvements now taking place, he expects to meet the target set at 2.2 MMT in 2013.

Through the Apo cement plant, CEMEX Philippines produces portland, pozzolan, marine, and masonry cement varieties.

Luzon currently accounts for 10 percent to 15 percent of the total plant production, while the rest goes to various provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao, particularly in Cebu which is seeing a construction boom.

(This article was written by Roderick Abad and was published in Business Mirror, 06 June 2013.)

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