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Universal Robina completes P1-B Davao flour mill expansion

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JG SUMMIT HOLDINGS, INC. Chief Executive Officer Lance Y. Gokongwei leads the inauguration of Universal Robina Corp.’s expanded flour milling plant in Davao City on March 21. — BW/CACARILLO

DAVAO CITY — Universal Robina Corp. (URC), the food and beverage unit of JG Summit Holdings, Inc., has completed the P1-billion expansion of its flour milling plant here, increasing production threefold for export to Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, company officials said Thursday.

Lance Y. Gokongwei, chief executive officer of JG Summit, said in his speech at the inauguration ceremony that with the plant’s 900-metric ton daily production capacity, it will now “be used as an export base” for its foreign markets.

Mr. Gokongwei said the company decided to expand the plant, which was built in 1993 and started commercial operations the following year, to address the continuing growth of its local and foreign markets as well as build on its “strong relationship” with the local community and the city.

“Today marks the culmination of that confidence,” he said.

Naida D. Ebora, URC director for sales, marketing and distribution, said the company is currently exporting about 2,150 metric tons (MT) daily, or 15% of its total production from its plants in Davao and Pasig City.

The flour output is also used by the company for its own food products.




“We built another line because we are growing fast,” said Ms. Ebora.

She said URC will soon be exporting to Myanmar, in addition to Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.

Gerardo M. Magadia, URC manufacturing director, said the new production line, which uses state-of-the art machines from Swiss tech company Buhler, will also allow the company to compete with foreign flour producers.

“With these (new machines) we have very minimal (human) interventions,” said Mr. Magadia, adding that the 1.3-hectare milling plant employs 247 workers.

Davao Vice Mayor Bernard E. Al-ag, for his part, said URC’s plant expansion is significant for the city’s bid to attract more investments in the manufacturing sector.

The URC Flour and Pasta Division is one of the top flour millers in the country. Its Davao facility is currently the only flour mill in southern Mindanao. —Carmelito Q. Francisco

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