By Arra B. Francia
HOMEGROWN engineering firm Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Co. (AG&P) is keen on participating in the government’s infrastructure program, looking to offer its expertise on the oil and power generation sector as well as transportation projects.
AG&P Vice-President for Business Development Alexander Gamboa said the company is currently in various stages of discussion with groups who are participating in the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
“Our primary market would be energy infrastructure, which is power generation, oil and gas, petrochemicals, and the like. That would still be our main market,” Mr. Gamboa told BusinessWorld in a phone interview earlier this month.
“We expect an increase in power capacity, availability of fuels. That’s the side that AG&P is an expert in, and we want to make sure we’re going to be number one on that aspect.”
Aside from projects for the energy sector, Mr. Gamboa said AG&P is also interested to create structures for bridges, noting that the company has the largest structure fabrication capacity in the Philippines, making it one of the largest in Southeast Asia.
“We’re interested also to participate in airports. Another thing is the rail projects,” he added.
Founded in 1900, AG&P describes itself as a global industrial infrastructure company specializing in providing gas logistics solutions and construction services to several clients abroad. The company’s willingness to participate in the government’s infrastructure program is part of its efforts to refocus back to the Philippines, banking on the country’s strong economic growth in the past six years.
“We’re very bullish on the Philippine market… We’ve seen that for the last six years, the country has been growing at 6-7% every year… We see the government now pushing for improved infrastructure which is really very important at this point in time, in view of all the traffic that we see,” Mr. Gamboa explained.
While the company has yet to participate in public sector projects, it has recently been tapped for the fabrication and construction of a new petrochemical power plant on a 250-hectare property in Southern Luzon. The project requires the hiring of an additional 5,000 people.
“This petrochemical plant in particular will require an additional 5,000 people because of the magnitude of this project, and much of the required skills are mechanical and electrical engineers,” Mr. Gamboa said.
Mr. Gamboa said the company’s P1.5-billion investment back in 2015 to expand its yard facilities will support its ongoing expansion program. The company currently operates on a total of 150 hectares of fabrication and assemble space, which Mr. Gamboa said is more than enough.
In terms of capacity, AG&P can fabricate 60,000 metric tons of steel and steel structures every year; 600,000 bio inches of pipes annually, and 125,000 metric tons of total steel and pipe assembly every year.