Steel Asia Manufacturing Corp. said it plans to register another P44 billion worth of projects with the Board of Investments, representing the remaining unregistered share from its total investment of P100 billion over the next five years.

SteelAsia chairman and chief executive Benjamin Yao said the company already registered P66 billion with the BoI for two wire rods projects, two section mill projects and two rebar projects.

“There are still others on the conceptualization stage. These are projects in the pipeline, mostly smaller projects on downstream and recycling. These include downstream, mesh fabrication, reinforcing mesh, cut and bend and few others,” he said.

The company said it would start the process of registration in January, as the time needed to prepare the documentation for the process.

SteelAsia said that in the next two to three years, the company aimed to produce about 3 to 4 million metric tons of billets to support the doubling of capacity of rebar, section and wire rods production.

Coming on stream by 2019 is the 2 million MT rebar plant in Compostela Valley and another 800,000 MT of wire rod for the second phase of the project by 2020, still in the same location.

Yao said the Compostela Valley plant would be the first to operate among all the projects registered at the BOI.

“Seriously, we’re rushing these projects so that we can add to the current local supply. We’ve maximized our capacity to the brim, so there’s no more room for additional volume, neither sales in 2019. But once we get the rebar plant in Compostela going, I think we’ll end up with as much as 10 to 15-percent increase in volume and sales,” he said.

SteelAsia vice president and head of business development Rafael Hidalgo said the P100-billion investment would help quadruple SteelAsia’s capacity by 2023 with the establishment of about 30 new mills in its existing plants and five new sites which would be dispersed across the country.

“That will help us reach 70-percent self-sufficiency in steel by 2023 which is way ahead of the 2030 target indicated in the Iron and Steel Industry Roadmap study presented by the Philippine Iron and Steel Institute,” he said.

The investment will cover more upstream facilities with the establishment of new integrated steelmaking plants using recycling technologies and expansion of  midstream and downstream products to include H beams, sheet piles, wire rods, steel plates, and reinforcing steel mesh. 

The company intends to substitute steel imports which reportedly amounted to $6 billion in 2018 and create linkages to support infrastructure development and downstream industries.