Subic Bay Freeport—Nidec Subic Philippines Corp., a manufacturer of small high-precision motors and electronic and optical components, will be implementing a P4.2-billion expansion project here to produce high-accuracy “Kinematix” gearboxes for industrial robots.
Nidec President Takeshi Yamamoto said the expansion project aims to assemble some 288,000 medium- to large-size gearboxes for industrial robotics gears annually, with the products valued at about P5.065 billion.
The company will be directly exporting all the gearboxes produced by its Subic facility.
Yamamoto said Nidec chose Subic for its expansion project due to its strategic location, which makes it more efficient to market products to the European Union, United States, Brazil, Korea and China.
The Japanese chief executive also told Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) officials in a meeting last week that the expansion will generate about 5,000 jobs from the start of the program until the last incentivized year of the project.
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Jonathan D. Tan noted that Nidec-Subic’s manufacturing resurgence marks the first expansion of the company outside of Japan.
He said the expansion program is made possible under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, which provides stimulus measures to help the country recover from the adverse economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The SBMA awarded last week the firm’s certificate of registration with incentives under CREATE.
Tan also hailed the Nidec expansion as a boost to the local manufacturing industry, pointing out that the high-tech gearboxes to be exported will be “Gawang Pinoy.”
“This is certainly a milestone for Subic Freeport as this new product will be solely manufactured by Nidec Subic.”
SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator for Business Renato W. Lee III said CREATE grants incentives like a 6-year income tax holiday, 10-year special corporate income tax, 16-year Customs duty exemption on importation of capital equipment, raw materials, spare parts and accessories, 16-year value-added tax (VAT) zero-rating on local purchase, and a 16-year VAT exemption on importation.
Kinematix gearboxes, which are used as base, arm or shoulder for industrial robots for auto tool changer or machine loader, will be a new product for Nidec.
The company used to manufacture direct-drive spindle motors and other precision electronic equipment here since its establishment in 1998 as one of the pioneer investors at the Subic Techno Park.
As of December 2020, the firm had listed 1,197 direct hires on its rolls, aside from 211 workers sourced out from a manpower provider and 36 from a security firm.
However, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the firm shuttered its base production of spindle motors in February 2021 and retrenched more than 70 percent of its work force here to maintain the viability of company operations.
The firm now employs 622 workers and it looks forward to recruiting new employees under the expansion project, said Nidec Subic General Manager Marissa Tamayo.
Image credits: Henry Empeño