PORTAL STEELS, INC.’s PhP 322.7 million steel plant was recently given the go-signal by the Board of Investments (BOI) to operate as a new producer of steel billets and rebars in its facility on Hong Chang compound, Carmona, Cavite. The project qualified for tax incentives under the Manufacturing activity of the Investment Priorities Plan (IPP).

The firm will produce steel billets and rebars at an annual production of 48,000 metric tons (MT) and 22,800 MT, respectively with commercial operations slated to start on December 2017 with 75 personnel on board. Around half of the billet production is for commercial sale in support for other rolling mill operations inside and outside the country while the other half is for its own use intended for integrated rolling mill operations. Production of rebars is expected to cater to the domestic demands of the infrastructure industry.

“Steel companies stand to benefit in light of the government’s ‘build, build, build” strategy to usher the country in the “golden age of infrastructure” with infrastructure spending of up to seven percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said. He added that the BOI would continue to push for the revitalization of the country’s steel industry as it is not only a critical component of our infrastructure but also essential in achieving inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.

The iron and steel industry provides necessary inputs for the construction of infrastructure, power generation and distribution, transportation facilities and vehicles, manufacturing machinery and equipment. The Philippine iron and steel industry roadmap aims to contribute to the country’s sustainable development by manufacturing world-class products for the industry and society and sees itself as a majority producer of high-quality and safe steel products for domestic users by 2030. This can be achieved when the industry will be able to supply 70 percent of the tonnage of required apparent steel consumption.

In line with the vision to be globally cost competitive, the company embarked on an iron and steel program that aims to primarily attain operational efficiency and achieve the least cost of production. The project will be using one of the most modern billet and rebars making technology available to the local industry in making the project capable of producing higher quality steel and more efficiency in terms of production output. Raw materials (scrap metals) will all be sourced locally.

Steel billets are considered freshly made steel which is still in the form of a metal bar or rectangle. It has distinct characteristics as compared with already furnished steel bars and products. Billets have a specific grain structure, which enables the metal to be processed more intricately and they are also known for their malleability and ductility, especially when exposed to varying temperatures during shaping and molding. It has many practical uses and application when formed into functional shapes and sizes. Rebar (short for reinforcing bar), also known as reinforcement steel, is a steel bar or mesh of steel wires used as a tension device in reinforced concrete and reinforcement masonry structures to strengthen and hold the concrete in compression.