Holcim completes expansion of La Union plant

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HOLCIM PHILIPPINES, Inc. completed the expansion of its La Union plant last month, allowing the facility to almost double its capacity.

The listed cement manufacturer said it has finished the installation of new grinding equipment and storage facilities in Bacnotan, La Union two months ahead of schedule. This brings La Union’s total capacity to 1.8 million metric tons (MT) from 1 million MT previously.

“With our expansion and efficiency initiatives, we can better provide a reliable supply of high-quality cement to help our partners advance the region’s development,” Holcim President and Chief Executive Officer John Stull said in a statement.

The company said this expansion will support its customers given that construction activity is now picking up due to the government’s massive infrastructure program.

Citing government data, Holcim Philippines said two of the three regions in North Luzon outpaced the national economic growth rate in 2017, led by the Cordillera Administrative Region whose construction industry surged by 23.6%.

The expansion of the La Union plant forms part of the company’s $54-million investment to boost the plant’s capacity alongside its other facility in Davao. Together, the two projects were seen to bring the Holcim Philippines’ total capacity to 12 million MT.

Holcim Philippines will continue its expansion program in its Bulacan and Misamis Oriental plants, spending about $300 million to improve their operations. This will further hike its annual capacity to 13 million MT by next year.

The company saw its net income attributable to the parent drop by 24% to P1.74 billion in the first nine months of 2018, amid a six percent uptick in gross revenues to P27.27 billion.

Shares in Holcim Philippines were unchanged at P9.50 each at the stock exchange on Thursday. — Arra B. Francia