PHINMA Corp. says it’s boosting cement capacity with new Mindanao facilities

LISTED conglomerate PHINMA Corp. is set to increase the capacity of its cement business with new facilities in Mindanao, a company official said.

The company is putting up a cement plant in Davao valued at around P2 billion, said Eduardo A. Sahagun, PHINMA Corp. director and executive vice-president for the construction materials group (CMG), during a briefing last week.

“We’re putting (up) our Davao plant, which is almost similar to Mariveles, Bataan. That is a joint venture with some of our partners in Davao. That will bring our total capacity to like five million tons if all those things will be completed in a couple of years,” he said.

“The Davao plant is about to start. We’re just working on its environmental clearance certificate,” he added.

PHINMA Corp. has presence in the cement business through its subsidiary Philcement Corp., which is part of the conglomerate’s CMG consisting of Union Galvasteel Corp. and PHINMA Solar Energy Corp.

The company’s Mariveles plant, located at the Freeport Area of Bataan, has an initial annual capacity of two million tons.

In addition, Mr. Sahagun said Petra Plant in Zamboanga del Norte has also started and is expected to help boost the company’s cement business.

Philcement signed a manufacturing and sale agreement with Petra Cement, Inc. in January, allowing the former to operate the latter’s Petra Plant.

“It has started and after that, we’re almost there for the actual purchase for the Petra Plant. We actually look at that as an opportunity. When we look at where it is located, it is almost like we’re the only one there serving Northern Mindanao,” he said.

“We think that has a good potential for us. And bring us closer to where we want to be as we actually put in together our model of being more sustainable for our cement business,” he added.

The Petra Plant has a cement grinding facility with a capacity of 500,000 metric tons per annum.

Meanwhile, PHINMA Properties said in a separate statement that it plans to explore the provision of socialized housing to the underserved and low-income sector.

“What we hope to do is develop a successful model for this, finding a balance between serving our mission of making lives better and compliance with the price ceiling for these properties as set by the government,” PHINMA Properties President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Raphael B. Felix said.

PHINMA Hospitality, Inc. President and CEO Jose Mari R. del Rosario said the company is exploring expansion and more franchising opportunities for the Microtel brand, along with a Visayas venture for TRYP.

The company is currently working on a TRYP condotel project in partnership with Damosa Land, Inc. in Samal Island, Davao.

“This will, in effect, disperse the locations of Microtels in the countryside where they are much needed,” he said.

PHINMA Corp. shares were last traded on April 30 at P20 per share. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave