Big Boss Cement, Inc. (BBCI), the country’s newest cement player using a unique Environment-friendly process, is investing a total of PHP 10 billion (USD 195 million) for its two cement plants in Pampanga and Zamboanga, in a bid to meet increased domestic demand as the government rolls out more Infrastructure projects. The cement manufacturer is currently undertaking a USD 137 million expansion of its plant in Porac, Pampanga, and a USD 59 million investment for its facility in Zamboanga del Norte.
In an interview, BBCI President Gilbert S. Cruz said the Pampanga plant is currently running with two lines, while two more will be opened by February and May 2020. This will bring its capacity to 4-5 million bags per month. Meanwhile, one more line will be opened in Zamboanga del Norte before the end of 2019. It will have a total of two lines each producing two million bags every month.
Cruz said they also plan to put up more plants, with the aim of reaching a total capacity of between 10 million and 12 million bags a month in five years, and, in the process, pull down its own cement prices to just PHP 100 (around USD 2.00) per bag. The company claims it already has the cheapest cement price in the Philippines, at PHP 150 (USD 2.92) to PHP 160 (USD 3.00) per 40 kilogram bag.
While the cement needs of the country is exponentially increasing every year on the back of the government’s Build, Build, Build Program, cement shortage has been in the news. Back in April this year, property consultancy firm Pronove Tai International Consultants estimated that the shortage of cement has caused a 30 percent delay in the first quarter of 2019 for building completions in Metro Manila. They added that the real estate market needs at least 32 million metric tons of cement annually for the construction of new buildings and other Infrastructures in the country. Currently, local suppliers for construction firms can only provide around 27 million metric tons of cement.
(Sources: Manila Bulletin; BusinessWorld; BusinessMirror; Philippine News Agency)