Taiheiyo Cement starts to build new P15B plant in San Fernando

TAIHEIYO Cement Philippines Inc. (TCPI) broke ground on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022 to formally kick off the construction of a new manufacturing facility in San Fernando town, southern Cebu.TCPI officials and representatives from the mother company, Taiheiyo Cement Corp. (TCC) based in Tokyo, and China-based project collaborators gathered in a simple ceremony at the site where a new kiln will be put in place.TCC is investing P15 billion for the new facility that would increase the company’s production capacity to three million tons after its completion in April 2024.Its vice president Yuichi Kitabayashi, in a message Asako Nakajima of the International Business Division read for him, announced that TCC has shifted its policy to focus now on Southeast Asia “where significant growth is expected in the future.”Under the slogan “South Down Shift,” he said, “the Philippines is positioned as the most important country in the region.”He said the TCPI plant will be the “first integrated cement production line” built since the second line assembled for the Nghi Son Cement Corp., a TCC subsidiary in Vietnam.“We consider (the new TCPI plant) to be the most important project that will affect the sustainable development of the Taiheiyo Cement Group,” he declared.While the new plant will be able to produce three million tons in a year, Kitabayashi said TCC aims to potentially reach a capacity of five million tons to correspond with increases in demand, an estimated 10 percent in market share.Stable supply“The new production line will not only provide a stable supply of cement of the highest quality by introducing state-of-the-art production technology, it will also play a role in reducing CO2 emission and waste disposal,” he said.He underscored it as Taiheiyo’s “further contributions not only to the Philippine construction industry but also to Philippine society as a whole.”The groundbreaking ceremony came without delay, and the on-site construction will finally start, according to Koshiro Hidaka, TCC managing executive officer.He recalled TCC engaged in September 2021 cement plant manufacturer Anhui Conch Group and general contractor Sinoma (Handan) Construction Co. Ltd., both of China, for the project.“From now on, we will move on to the stage to do the actual work to construct the cement plant as we planned,” he said.Hidaka disclosed that based on target to start commercial operation in May 2024, “we will build the No. 1 most-advanced plant in the Philippines through the collaboration of Taiheiyo Cement, a top Japanese cement manufacturer, and Anhui Conch Group, a top Chinese cement manufacturer.”TCPI president and CEO Yoshihito Izawa described the groundbreaking as “the first day of our Kiln Renewal Project.”Izawa led last Oct. 15, 2021 the ceremony to close the old kiln that produced cement for almost 30 years that contractors used to build several edifices and infrastructure projects in Cebu and many parts of the country.Confident of the country’s projected growth trajectory in the post-pandemic era, TCC announced in the last quarter of year 2020 the construction of a new production line that will increase TCPI’s capacity to 3.0 million tons of cement that can increase its market share to 10 percent. (CSL, PR)