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SteelAsia eyes expansion in Batangas; P19.3 billion project to generate more jobs

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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Board of Investment’s One-Stop Action Center for Strategic Investments (OSAC-SI), endorsed the 500,000 MT Section mill project of SteelAsia Lemery Works Inc. in Lemery, Batangas for Green Lane. 

With the recently-signed Executive Order No. 18., Green Lane endorsement can expedite the processing and issuance of permits and licenses for projects identified as strategic investments. 

With an initial investment cost of Php19.3 billion, the project is expected to start its operation in July 2024, employing 600 personnel and workers from the local town and nearby areas.

BOI Governor Marjorie Ramos-Samaniego together with Executive Director Bobby G. Fondevilla and Director Ernesto C. Delos Reyes Jr. led the awarding of the Green Lane Certificate of Endorsement to the officials of SteelAsia on September 15, 2023. 

The project is the greenfield design, erection, and commissioning of the Philippines’ first sections of production: a state-of-the-art hot-rolling production line with an upstream integrated recycling-based steelmaking. 

Due to the lack of steel manufacturing players in the country, the Philippines ranked 20th among the top importers of steel globally. In 2022 alone, the Philippines imported about USD 5.23 billion worth of steel USD 2.18 billion of which was imported from China. Local steel manufacturing is deemed insufficient to address the growing demand for the product, especially with the increasing consumption of sections from both infrastructure projects and private developments. 

“Green Lane will be very helpful to the company. We consider it as a “win” for the country and we will convert this privilege into action,” said Mr. Benjamin Yao, Chairman and CEO of SteelAsia.

Mr. Yao commits to support the goals of the nation of developing more infrastructure projects. 

SteelAsia’s project has an import-substitution strategy targeting the large and fast-growing domestic market for the sale of the mills’ output. The plant will manufacture using electric arc furnace (EAF) technology to refine steel which will be used to hot-roll steel sections such as H-beams, I-beams, I-channels, and unequal leg angle bars.

The presence of local manufacturers aims to lower the cost of construction, shorten construction periods, and further spur growth in domestic construction. It will also give rise to ancillary industries, such as structural steel services including design, engineering, and built-up steel structures.

Governor Ramos-Samaniego said that in streamlining the processes, BOI, in collaboration with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), will come up with an online portal for Green Lane’s facilitation of strategic investments.

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