LOCAL CEMENT INDUSTRY FEELING BUILD BUILD BUILD
The road to Marawi in Balo-i, Lanao del Norte is widened as part of Governments infrastructure push. Apart from public infrastructure projects, private construction has boosted demand for cement

MANILA -- The local cement industry is poised to reap the benefits of the government`s "Build Build Build" Program, as it gets ready for a major spike in demand for construction supplies because of various infrastructure projects in the pipeline.

Republic Cement President Nabil Francis said demand for cement this year is expected to grow 8 percent on the back of the government`s strong infrastructure spending, coupled with developments from the private sector.

“In terms of growth, we are anticipating almost 8 percent growth for this year. It’s higher than last year,” Francis told reporters over the weekend. “The thing is that, we just follow the market pace, and now I think the situation is very interesting in the Philippines because the fundamentals are strong. So we start to feel the effect of the `Build Build Build` Program. From day one of the project to cement consumption, it’s always a timeline. We start to feel the pulse of the market beating.”

Francis noted that it is an opportune time for the company to be in the market, as the country embarks on its “golden age of infrastructure.”

The executive mentioned that Republic Cement, an Aboitiz company, divides its business into three segments: residential, non-residential, and infrastructure.

About 30 percent of the cement consumption came from the infrastructure segment, Francis said.

The cement consumption growth from the infrastructure industry, which according to Francis is seen to grow by 13 percent this year, is also seen to boost Republic Cement’s manufacturing business.

The residential segment is also growing “in steady state” at 5 percent, he added.

Last year, the company announced a USD300-million expansion plan to increase its production capacity to keep up with the robust demand in the domestic market. (PNA)