SteelAsia partners with China's HBIS to build $4.4 billion steelmaking facility
SteelAsia, called the flagship steel firm in the Philippines, is partnering with the HBIS Group Co., Ltd., the second biggest steel firm in China and fourth largest in the world, for the $4.4 billion Philippine Iron and Steel Project in Misamis Oriental. Also part of the partnership formalized through a memorandum of understanding last month were Huili Investment Fund Management Co., Ltd., and PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority.
The project which is the biggest industrial investment from China to date opens an opportunity for our country to locally produce basic iron and steel products, which will correspondingly supply downstream steel products such as metal sheets and bars, including nails, staple wires, and paperclips as well as construction-grade materials and steel products like wire rod and wire mesh.
SteelAsia Chairman and CEO Benjamin Yao has lamented that even for many basic steel products, such as wire-rods, beams, sheet piles, plates and HR Coils, the Philippines needs to import 100% of its
requirements. “In comparison, our South East Asian neighbors, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam all produce these products for their domestic consumption. Because of this import dependence, our country has been missing out on the opportunity to create jobs, value, downstream industries and dollar savings – a clear burden on our economy.”
Covering 305 hectares inside the PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental, the project is expected to generate 20,000 jobs and 65,000 indirect employment for Filipinos.
“This project is very important to our industrial development and will allow us to pursue President Duterte’s vision of having a globally competitive integrated iron and steel industry, to support the growing economy, to alleviate poverty, and to create jobs for every Filipino,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, during his speech at the signing ceremony held in Makati City.
“This is a moment of great significance for us. We do see this as a fruitful business partnership for our companies, but also as a defining and broader cooperation between our two countries. We are confident there will be many more ventures between enterprises of our two countries as a result of a more productive and more forward-looking vision shared by the leaders of our two countries,” Mr. Yao said.
STEELASIA, Tibay ng Pilipino.