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DMCI considers entry into cement industry

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World Cement,

Manila-based conglomerate, DMCI Holdings, is to enter the cement industry, according to local media reports. The company is planning a US$340 million investment in a new cement plant on Semirara Island, Philippines, to utilise the areas low-grade coal and limestone reserves.

Semirara already hosts DMCI’s subsidiary, Semirara Mining and Power Corp., which mines coal. According to DMCI Chairman and President, Isidro Consunji, the new cement plant would take advantage of the region’s geology to produce 2.3 – 2.4 million tpy of cement.

The company would fuel the kiln with the lowest-grade coal that is mines but for which there is currently no market. A captive 40 MW coal-fired power plant could also be fuelled by the company’s low-grade coal.

Demand for cement in the Philippines is currently ahead of what can currently be produced domestically, according to industry data cited by local news. As of December 2016, the Philippine cement industry had nameplate capacity of 28.63 million tpy. This includes integrated cement manufacturing, as well as grinding plants.

The company still requires the necessary permitting, Herbert Consunji, DMCI’s Chief Financial Officer, said, while the feasibility of the project is still being considered in light of other planned capacity expansions. “So this may still be held back, but we’re so confident to push this because production cost is so low,” Consunji added.

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