Taiheiyo Cement Group of Japan is investing P15 billion in a new production line in Cebu to support the growing demand for cement in local housing, commercial and infrastructure development sectors, the Trade Department said Wednesday.The department said the project would involve a state-of-the-art facility fitted with new and advanced technologies from developers in Europe and other leading global technology providers.The new production line will increase the Taiheiyo’s production capacity by 50 percent in the immediate term and 150 percent in the medium term. The bigger capacity is projected to increase Taiheiyo’s Philippine market share from 7 percent to 10 percent.Shuji Fukuda, president and representative director of Taiheiyo, said the company adheres to green economy requirements via the introduction of energy-efficient operations which will bring about a reduction by 10 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from energy use in clinker production from the old line’s energy efficiency rates.Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Taiheiyo’s expansion plan would support the department’s cornerstone strategy, REBUILD PH or “Revitalizing Businesses, Investments, Livelihoods and Domestic Demand.”The strategy is designed to jumpstart and reinvigorate the economy by enhancing both production capacity and revitalizing consumption, Lopez said.“The new Taiheiyo Cement expansion project is a strategic investment not only in the context of the President’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, but also from the perspective of meeting the demand of our country’s economic recovery. This is estimated by both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to reach 6.2 percent to 6.8 percent in 2021,” Lopez said.“This partnership offers numerous opportunities that will complement economic growth opportunities in the Philippines as we aim to build back better,” he said.
The company also committed to enhance logistics and meet environmental protection programs through the installation of a 2-kilometer marine belt conveyor, expansion of the berth and jetty in San Fernando, Cebu and the adoption of energy-efficient production processes.Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said Board of Investments would review the project’s new technologies for incentive eligibility and provide investment facilitation services through its standing cooperation with related agencies responsible for the issuance of relevant permits and licenses.Last year, the Philippines imported $543.9 million worth of cement, up by 213.8 percent from 2015. This makes the country the third-largest cement importer in the world after the US and China.The Taiheiyo Cement Group, headquartered in Odaiba, Tokyo, runs diverse businesses from cement, mineral resources, environmental, construction materials to real estate, engineering, data processing, finance, transportation, warehousing, chemicals and sports.DTI Special Trade Representative Dita Angara-Mathay said that three new investment projects from Japan were announced this year amid the pandemic. These include two expansions and one new project in the fields of manufacturing for export and industrial operations.“These projects will meet the infrastructure demands of a growing domestic market, and is a fitting testimony of how Philippine-Japan economic ties are continuing to grow from strength to strength,” she said.