Chi­nese group mulls build­ing steel plant in the Philip­pines

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By BLOOMBERG

China’s Baiyin Non­fer­rous Group Co agreed to con­sider set­ting up a stain­less steel plant in the Philip­pines that could cost as much as $700 mil­lion, as part of a wider push to boost trade and eco­nomic ties be­tween the two coun­tries.

The State-owned firm will look at var­i­ous re­sources projects in the South­east Asian na­tion un­der a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing signed with Global Fer­ronick­elHold­ings Inc, the Philip­pine pro­ducer said in a stock ex­change fil­ing on Fri­day. Un­der the deal, signed dur­ing Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s state visit to China, Baiyin may also pro­vide trade fi­nanc­ing to Global Fer­ronickel’s Ipi­lan mine in Palawan province, it said.

“We rec­og­nize the im­por­tance of pro­mot­ing close co­op­er­a­tion with China to spur eco­nomic growth in the coun­try,” Global Fer­ronickel Chair­man Joseph Sy said in a sep­a­rate state­ment. “We see Baiyin as a strong part­ner who will play a vi­tal role with us in cre­at­ing greater value added in the nickel value chain.”

Global Fer­ronickel jumped as much as 8.7 per­cent at the Philip­pine Stock Ex­change af­ter a one-hour trad­ing halt. Other min­ers in­clud­ing Mar­cven­tures Hold­ings Inc have ex­pressed in­ter­est in ex­pand­ing their op­er­a­tions to nickel pro­cess­ing

We see Baiyin as a strong part­ner who will play a vi­tal role with us in cre­at­ing greater value added in the nickel value chain.” chair­man of Global Fer­ronickel

Joseph Sy, with Chi­nese part­ners, as Duterte looks to forge closer ties and re­place the long­stand­ing al­liance with the United States.

The stain­less steel plant would cost $500 mil­lion to $700 mil­lion, with an an­nual ca­pac­ity of 1 mil­lion met­ric tons us­ing ore from the Philip­pines, ac­cord­ing to Global Fer­ronickel, the na­tion’s se­cond-big­gest pro­ducer.

The two com­pa­nies are seek­ing to “pro­mote closer in­dus­trial and com­mer­cial co­op­er­a­tion” given China’s large and grow­ingde­mand­for the ore used in stain­less steel, coins, recharge­able bat­ter­ies and­spe­cialal­loys, ac­cord­ingto the state­ment. China is the world’s largest nickel user, ac­count­ing for about half of to­tal con­sump­tion.

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