PRESIDENTIAL Adviser on Economic Affairs Ramon Jacinto wants the country to have integrated steel mill to support industries, whether to revive the National Steel Corp. (NSC) or have a new facility.
On the sidelines of the Infrastructure Congress and Expo Philippines 2017 in Pasay City Wednesday, Jacinto has emphasized the need to re-establish an integrated facility for steel production in the country, noting that the steel sector is “the rice” or a staple material for industries.
He also said that the revival of an integrated steel mill should be done in the current administration as President Rodrigo Duterte had seen the importance of the steel industry in job creation and economic contribution.
Jacinto said a Korean company was currently doing a feasibility study on the viability of NSC, the country’s only integrated steel mill, to be revived.
“It’s up to the study. If it makes sense to revive the national mill, fine. If it does not, then we put up another one,” the official said.
He said that it would cost about USD 3 billion to establish a new integrated facility. But, it will be more cost-efficient to revive the NSC as it has the infrastructure and rolling technology. It will only need upgrading of its machinery.
The NSC is in Iligan City in Mindanao.
Jacinto also said that the government was also looking at new sites to develop the integrated still mill.
Reviving an integrated steel mill will also help in meeting the demand of 10.5 million tons in the local market, the official noted. Only two million tons of steel are domestically produced and the rest of the demand were imported.
“Even it’s cheaper to import, we should have our own,” Jacinto said.
“Steel is the rice of industry,” the presidential adviser stressed. (PNA)
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