DTI and SteelAsia Partner to Boost Steel Production

In photo: DTI Secretary Fred Pascual and SteelAsia Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Yao

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual and SteelAsia Manufacturing Corporation are forging a potential partnership aimed at significantly enhancing Philippine steel production.

“The Philippines has a strong market demand for steel products, and now is the time to scale up domestic production. To achieve this, the DTI is working closely with industry leaders like SteelAsia,” Secretary Pascual said.

He emphasized the government’s efforts to build a conducive environment for businesses by addressing supply chain challenges and working to reduce power costs.

During a visit to SteelAsia’s newest plant in Compostela, Cebu, on May 23, officials saw the plant’s impressive 3-million-metric-ton production capacity of steel rebar.

SteelAsia’s expansion plans include generating local production of essential downstream products such as wires, nuts and bolts, mesh, cables, and pre-engineered steel structures. The company’s state-of-the-art facility operates on 80% renewable geothermal energy, showcasing its commitment to minimizing environmental impact.

SteelAsia has strategically located plants in Bulacan, Batangas, and Davao City. To further solidify its vision, the company announced a substantial PHP 65 billion investment for expanding operations nationwide.

The expansion is expected to create 15,000 new jobs in addition to its existing workforce of 3,000 employees. The goal is to achieve up to 70% self-sufficiency in the steel supply chain within the next two to four years.

Secretary Pascual highlighted the importance of this strategic move in reducing the Philippines’ reliance on imported steel. By diversifying into a broader range of steel products, SteelAsia aims to significantly decrease dependence on foreign suppliers, empowering the country to meet its own steel demands and fostering a robust domestic steel industry.

“The Philippines has the potential to become a regional leader in steel production. We’re implementing long-term plans that ensure a steady supply of steel to fuel growth across all regions of the country,” Pascual noted.

The DTI has pledged continued support through its Board of Investments, realized through initiatives like the Green Lane, which expedites SteelAsia’s permitting process and offers attractive investment incentives. The trade chief also mentioned the Tatak Pinoy Act, with its new implementing rules and regulations, to bolster local industries like steel manufacturing.

SteelAsia Chairman and CEO Benjamin Yao expressed gratitude for the DTI’s efforts. “For the first time in my many years of experience, we have a streamlined process that fosters a more efficient and supportive environment for entrepreneurs, startups, and businesses like ours.”

This focus on domestic steel production aligns with the DTI’s commitment to fair competition.

Secretary Pascual emphasized the department’s campaign against substandard steel to protect Filipino families and ensure the structural integrity of buildings across the country.

“We will continue to enforce regulations to ensure all steel products meet our established safety standards,” he stressed.

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