Chinese steel company scouts 300-hectare land for $3.5-billion project

A Chinese steel manufacturer is looking for a 300-hectare parcel of land in the Philippines, preferably in Mindanao, for its $3.5-billion investment project in the country.

Philippine Economic Zone Authority  Director General Charito B. Plaza said the Panhua Group seeks to put up an integrated steel mill in the Philippines. Panhua currently produces flat steel products in its three integrated steel mills in China.

Plaza said the company has been looking for a new manufacturing hub in a neighboring country since the United States began imposing higher tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from China.

“Because of US, China and G-7 trade war, it is an advantage to the Philippines because we have now received intent from various China and European investors that they want to locate in the Philippines to avoid the tariff war going on between US, China and the G-7 allies,” she said.

She added that company executives are seeking an audience with President Rodrigo Duterte to present their investment plans.

“The said project is a welcome development for the country, especially in its move towards industrialization; and that the long awaited basic industry will put a stop on our importation of steel and hasten our country’s industrialization,” she said.

PEZA Deputy Director General Tereso Panaga said Panhua Group ranks number one in China in steel sheet manufacturing and coating. For its planned project in the Philippines, the Chinese firm reportedly eyes to produce 10 product lines for various applications.

The Chinese firm’s envisioned project may also involve a modern port within the planned 300-hectare economic zone. PEZA met the executives from Panhua Group during investment mission last month in cities of Chongqing and Zhangjiagang in China.