NCC begins plant expansion

Northern Cement Corp,., which is 35-percent owned by conglomerate San Miguel Corp., held ground breaking ceremonies for its $200-million expansion project in Pangasinan province.

San Miguel said in a statement over the weekend the expansion was based on growing demand for cement products in Northern Luzon as well as across all population centers in the Philippines.

The expansion project will double NCC’s annual capacity to over two million tons.

“The economy and infrastructure sector are growing rapidly and by expanding NCC, we are supporting the development efforts of the Philippine government and reducing dependence on imported cement,” San Miguel president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said.

San Miguel in 2013, through packaging unit San Miguel Yamamura Corp., acquired a 35-percent interest in NCC, which is controlled by San Miguel chairman Eduardo Cojuango Jr., for P3 billion to finance the expansion of the company.

Established in 1968, NCC is one of the pioneers in the local cement industry. Its main plant is located in Sison, Pangasinan.

With the entry of the San Miguel group as an equity shareholder in 2012, NCC has since completed a modernization program, acquiring the latest manufacturing technologies for its existing lines.

Last week, Ang announced San Miguel and Eagle Cement Corp. were investing $1 billion to build five new cement plants in the country that would boost combined capacity to 16 million metric tons by 2017.

Eagle Cement in a private cement firm owned by Ang.

Ang said the conglomerate was building a 2-million metric ton cement plant in Pangasinan under Northern Cement, while Eagle Cement was constructing a 2-million MT plant each in Bulacan, Quezon province, Cebu and Davao.

Ang said NCC and Eagle Cement were expanding existing cement capacities amid strong demand from private and public infrastructure spending.

He said the company would continue to bid for infrastructure projects that the government might bid out under the Public-Private Participation scheme.

San Miguel’s existing infrastructure projects include the Naia Expressway project, a connector road and MRT Line 7.

The conglomerate is also bidding for the bundled airport project, the P50-billion regional prison facilities, the P170-billion North-South Railway and the P18-billion Davao Sasa Wharf.

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