PHL, China steel firm ink USD3.5-B investment deal

Chinese steel manufacturer Panhua Group Co., Ltd. formally signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority for its USD3.5-billion investment in the Philippines, which includes the establishment of an integrated steel mill.

The MOU was signed on Tuesday while Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Manila on a state visit.

“The signing of this MOU is a testament to the strengthened relations between Philippines and China. A completely private undertaking, Panhua, is set to accomplish President Rodrigo Duterte’s vision of growing the integrated iron and steel industry so it can cater to the growing domestic and external market demand,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

Panhua reportedly scouted for a suitable location for its steel mill before settling for a 305-hectare area in the PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate located within the Misamis Oriental-Special Economic Zone.

According to the DTI, Panhua’s investment plan involves an integrated steel manufacturing plant with a capacity of 10 million metric tons, downstream industries, an industrial park, and a port.

This will come in three phases, which is expected to be completed in six to seven years, and is projected to create 50,000 jobs in the country.

Following the MOU signing, Panhua is expected to register with PEZA and secure permits to start its operation, as well as to sign a separate memorandum of agreement with the government to begin the construction of its project. PNA