San Miguel Corporation To Invest P60-B In The Freeport Area Of Bataan

Philippine Conglomerate San Miguel Corporation President Ramon Ang (2nd-L) leads the ringing of the bell at the trading floor of the Philippine Stocks Exchange, during the listing of San Miguel 30 billion peso preferred shares in Manila’s Makati financial district March 30, 2016. At left is Philippine Stocks Exchange President Hans Sicat.

San Miguel Corporation (PSE: SMC) is expected to invest approximately P60 billion in the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB). Southeast Asia’s largest publicly listed beverage, food, and packaging company is seen to spend P40-to P50-billion for the FAB’s 600-megawatt coal-fired power plant construction.

“The power plant is already in the works,” The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported Deogracias Custodio, Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) chairman and administrator, as saying in a briefing on Tuesday. “The San Miguel group already has coal power plants and now [it was] looking at something similar to put up [within the planned industrial estate].”

“This is a big plant but [SMC] may have planned locators that would have huge electricity requirements,” Custodio added. “ I think the company intended to sell to the grid as well.”

Custodio also said that a SMC EFARE Investment Holdings Inc. subsidiary secured the go signal to develop a 500 hectare property into an industrial park in the Bataan Freeport in 2015.

Aside from the power plant and industrial estate, San Miguel is also expected to spend P2.21 billion to expand its Mariveles feeds plant.

Meawhile, AFAB expects about P7 billion worth of approved investment pledges in 2016 due to the manufacturing firms that are continuously entering the country.

“The Freeport Area of Bataan has been generating strong interest from the global investment community with its buoyant business environment and strengthened positioned as one of the best investment destinations in the country,” The Philippine Star reported Custodio as saying.

“The confidence of the investors was reflected in the investment pledges poured into the Freeport,” Custodio added.

The total investment pledges approved by AFAB has reached P107 billion from 2010 to April 2016. As of the first quarter, it already approved P194 million worth of foreign direct investments in the Freeport, majority of which are Business process outsourcing (BPO) firms.

“We’re looking at establishing ourselves as a BPO player also,” Custodio said. “Right now, the growth is still in manufacturing such as bag and shoe manufacturing.”

Custodio said that the Freeport Area of Bataan expects further expansion from existing locators as well as new locators. The FAB is also expected to become the Philippines’ fashion manufacturing hub with a number of its companies producing popular and high-end brands of apparel, garments, accessories and shoes.

There are currently 114 locators registered in the Freeport Area of Bataan as of December 2015, including businesses from China, the US, Japan, France, Korea, Taiwan and Germany.


Written by

Janice Somosot

International Business Times