CEMEX Holdings Philippines, Inc. has positioned its large heating device as it builds the cement production line that would add 1.5 million metric tons of cement to the firm’s annual capacity.

The company in a statement on Tuesday said it invested $235 million or P11.3 billion into the new cement line, which would increase output to 3.4 million metric tons a year.

The pyro-processing device called a rotary kiln would raise materials to high temperatures in order to create cement.

“This milestone demonstrates our full commitment to the development of the country and brings us closer to further strengthening our position in providing the infrastructure and building needs for economic development,” Cemex Holdings Philippines Chief Executive Officer and President Ignacio Alejandro Mijares Elizondo said.

The cement manufacturer reported that its profits in the third quarter 2020 grew more than eight times to P623.12 million from the same period last year after operating earnings improvement and foreign exchange gains.

Cemex, when it announced the expansion project in 2018, had said that it expected to start operations of the new line by the fourth quarter of 2020.

The company in May said that it resumed its Antipolo-based operations after the stricter lockdown earlier in the year suspended production. Earnings in the first quarter had dropped 47%.

Shares in Cemex closed at P1.41 apiece on Tuesday, down 1.40% or two centavos. — Jenina P. Ibañez