By ALI G. MACABALANG
The country’s first integrated steel mill will soon rise in Misamis Oriental, according to the Philippine Veterans Investment Development Corporation (PHIVIDEC).
PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority Administrator Atty. Franklin Quijano said his agency has teamed up with China’s Huili Fund, the CISDI Group Co. and Philippine-owned Simple Homes Development, Inc. in conceiving the project.
Quijano said the steel mill will be built at the PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental for lease with option-to-purchase awarded to Simple Homes Development, Inc., a subsidiary of A Brown Co. Inc. (ABCI), a publicly-listed company with major investments in real estate, power generation, agriculture and mining.
The Marawi City-born Quijano gave some details of the project when interviewed for the second time Wednesday over the “Sulong Mindanao” segment of Manila-based dwIZ anchored by Lolly Acosta and co-hosted by this scribe.
He said the venture is pursuing President Rodrigo Duterte’s vision for the country’s steel production that can be globally competitive.
“The integrated steel mill is a tremendous contribution to the Build-Build-Build program of the national government, as we cannot build a country without steel”, Quijano said, echoing the sentiment of the President from the early years of his presidency.
“The world is shrinking, but we are expanding with the introduction of the integrated steel mill”, Quijano added.
The integrated steel mill makes a significant contribution to employment generation and economic growth not only in Northern Mindanao but also nationwide, he said.
He said the project is expected to generate around 10,000 to 30,000 jobs while regular operations command 3,000 employees.
“It will also be an added opportunity for our kababayans under the Balik-Probinsya program,” he said.
The integrated steel mill project is earmarked with around US$ 4.9 billion for construction inside a 400-hectare land area, he said.
It will produce an approximate 5 million tons per annum of flat products such as steel plates, and long products such as billets, round bars, and wires. The project shall commence upon signing of the agreements in the early part of July, Quijano said. ALI G. MACABALANG