EAGLE CEMENT Chief Finance Officer Monica L. Ang says the company is reducing its capital spending this year. — EAGLECEMENT.COM.PH

By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

EAGLE Cement Corp. is targeting to finish its new plant in Bulacan before the year ends to increase its capacity for cement manufacturing.

During the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting on Wednesday, Eagle Cement President and CEO John Paul L. Ang said the company’s Bulacan expansion is under way.

This involves the construction of a new cement mill, which will give Eagle Cement an additional capacity of producing 2 million metric tons of cement per annum.

“This plant was supposed to have been turned over and commissioned this second quarter of this year. But because of the pandemic, management is committing to deliver this plant by end quarter of this year,” Mr. Ang said.

The company’s cement plant in Bulacan currently consists of three production lines that have a combined capacity of producing about 7.1 million metric tons or 180 million bags per annum.

Eagle Cement also has a grinding and packaging facility in Bataan that has a capacity of processing 12 million cement bags per annum.

During the meeting, Eagle Cement Chief Finance Officer Monica L. Ang said the company is reducing its budget for capital expenditures (capex) this year, but did not specify the figures.

“For 2020, we are revising our capex and operating expense budgets by trimming non-critical projects and activities. However, our expansion-related capex will continue,” she said.

The company’s earnings in the first quarter declined 25% to P1.2 billion due to a slowdown in construction activity when a lockdown was implemented since mid-March.

Meanwhile, Eagle Cement Chairman Ramon S. Ang said the company will be providing the needs for the construction of San Miguel Corp. (SMC)’s airport project in Bulacan.

“Eagle Cement… is very near our Bulacan airport. So definitely it’s an advantage to buy from Eagle Cement all the cement requirements for the airport and all the building facilities,” he said during the stockholders’ meeting.

He is referring to the P734-billion international airport project of SMC subsidiary San Miguel Holdings Corp., which involves the construction of four parallel runways, eight taxiways and three passenger terminal buildings on a 2,400-hectare space in Bulacan.

Shares in Eagle Cement at the stock exchange ended flat on Wednesday at P9.80 apiece.