Cemex bets P3 billion plant upgrade on 'Build, Build, Build'

Cement maker Cemex has announced it would increase the capacity of its Luzon plant by nearly 80 percent by 2020 following a Php3 billion upgrade, as it moved to meet demand from the government's infrastructure program.

The Antipolo plant will have an annual production capacity of 3.4 million tons from the current 1.9 million tons. Including the Cebu plant, total capacity will reach 7.2 million tons, said Cemex Philippines president Ignacio Mijares Elizondo.

Cemex expects "very significant growth" in construction for the third straight year, Mijares told media. "We're seeing a lot of activity throughout the nation. We're really excited," he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte is planning to spend Php8 trillion on his 'Build, Build, Build' program that aims to overhaul the country's transportation systems. Inflation and rains are "challenges," that Cemex is addressing by making production and deliveries more efficient, he said.

Mijares said he hoped to "keep margins similar to recent years." Cemex increased prices by 5 percent at the start of the year, helping it make up for inflation.