Republic Cement: Six decades of contributing to nation-building

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Republic Cement
Republic Cement’s Teresa Plant in Rizal

For over 60 years, Republic Cement has been a partner in the Philippines’ transformation and a vital contributor to nation-building. Founded in 1955, the organization has grown and evolved into what is now known as the Republic Cement Group, composed of Republic Cement & Building Materials, Inc., Republic Cement Services, Inc., Republic Cement Iligan, Inc., Republic Cement Mindanao, Inc., and Republic Cement & Land Resources, Inc.

Republic Cement has a nationwide footprint with seven strategically located sites across the Philippines, manufacturing cement and building materials including bagged cement, bulk cement, and aggregates under well-trusted brands such as Republic, Fortune, Rapidset, Kapitbalay, Mindanao, and Wallmaster.

“Republic Cement has been trusted for its consistent quality over the years, which is why it remains to be the cement of choice, especially for high-rise and large infrastructure projects,” the company told BusinessWorld in an e-mail.

Republic is backed by the global expertise of CRH, a leading global diversified building materials group and a Fortune 500 company; and Aboitiz, a diversified Filipino business conglomerate recognized as one of the best-managed companies in Asia.

“Together, we are creating a strong platform for future growth as we endeavor to make Republic the best managed building materials company in the Philippines,” said Republic Cement Services, Inc. President Nabil Francis.

Sustainability is embedded in its operations, which is why the company continues to look for ways to reduce its ecological footprint, investing in new technologies, and endeavoring to meet the highest standards of environmental management.

“We have established our leadership in sustainability, introducing innovation in green manufacturing with initiatives that reduce carbon dioxide emissions, improve energy efficiency, and preserve our forests for the enjoyment of future generations. We are planting 200,000 trees this year, and are on-track with our target to plant one million trees by 2020,” Mr. Francis added.

To illustrate, Republic Cement is the first cement company in the Philippines to invest in Waste Heat Recovery. Since a large amount of heat is produced in the production of cement but only a small portion of this heat is utilized in the production process, most of the heat ends up being wasted. To address this, the company commissioned the Waste Heat Recovery System at the Republic Teresa Plant in 2010.

The project involved the installation of a 4.5-MW capacity turbine which captures and uses most of the waste heat to generate electricity. The Heat Recovery System has the capacity to meet approximately 30% of Teresa Plant’s power requirements, thereby decreasing the plant’s dependence on the power grid and cutting CO2 emissions by approximately 12,000 tons per year.

Republic Cement also broke ground with its installation of a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient horomill, increasing its plant’s cement production capacity, while decreasing its energy consumption. Moreover, it can also utilize CO2 neutral cement additives, such as fly ash, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Another facet of the company as a green manufacturer is the replacement of the clinker in its blended cement with carbon-neutral minerals or industrial byproducts. According to the company, Republic Portland Plus is the only blended cement manufactured in the country that uses fly ash, which is an industrial by-product of the power industry.

“The use of fly ash increases the strength and durability of concrete over time, bringing its own enhancement to the product. In comparing the footprint versus ordinary Portland cement, it was found to have a lower environmental impact by around 25%. This solution provides the most ecologically sound alternative to the current disposal of fly ash. Moreover, the use of this by-product as an additive in our cement provides a sustainable alternative to pozzolan, limestone, and other non-renewable materials,” Mr. Francis explained.

Furthermore, the company has been using sustainable alternative fuels such as rice husk, saw dust, and refuse-derived fuel to substitute its fossil fuel requirements for several years now. Also, waste co-processing has been part of its operations since 2002. Co-processing allows for the simultaneous recovery of thermal and/or mineral resources of wastes from other sources for use in cement manufacturing. This process is a more environment-friendly alternative to landfilling and chemical treatment waste management. Other advantages include complete combustion, zero ultimate waste, and lower CO2 emissions.

Aside from embracing these new technologies, the company endeavors to improve its operational efficiency and increase production capacity, in support of the country’s growing infrastructure needs.

Meanwhile, Republic Cement continues to be a key partner in nation-building, living its thrust to advance business and communities through its various corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Kusina ng Kalinga, its flagship program against hunger and malnutrition, in partnership with Gawad Kalinga, attests to Republic Cement’s commitment to invest in the future. More than contributing to the nation’s infrastructure growth, Republic is nourishing the nation’s future leaders. Over 700 schoolchildren in Taysan, Batangas have since benefited from nutritious lunch meals daily for the school year 2017-2018.

The said program has seen phenomenal success, reducing malnutrition incidence from 11% to 0% among schoolchildren-beneficiaries. This year, Republic Cement is expanding the said program with a new Kusina in Bulacan in hopes of touching the lives of over 3,000 children.

“We envision a Philippines with strong, durable structures and infrastructure that will serve Filipinos for generations to come. But more than just structures, we also want to ensure that today’s children are nourished and strengthened to become the country’s next generation of leaders,” shared Mr. Francis.

Other initiatives under its Social Development and Management Program include scholarships, livelihood programs, medical missions, sports clinics, and Information Education, Communication (IEC) events, among others.

“With the strength and quality of Republic Cement, coupled with good corporate citizenship, it is our desire to build stronger structures, stronger communities, and stronger cities. Ultimately, our goal is to build a stronger Republic,” Mr. Francis said. — Romsanne R. Ortiguero