Filipino businessmen may reopen steel plant

A group of Filipino businessmen is set to reopen a mothballed steel plant in Batangas province, south of the capital Manila, and is ready to hire up to 220 people to get the facility running.

Mr Alejo S. Tatel, President of Golden Era Steel Mill Inc., said that the rehabilitation of the steel plant in Mabini town has been completed as early as January, although its re commissioning is now being pushed back by the supposed refusal of the Batangas II Electric Cooperative (Batelec II) to supply power to the facility.

Tatel said GESMI, PL Batangas and Batelec have agreed on a tripartite deal for the restructuring of the arrears over two years beginning with a PHP 30 million partial payment. GESMI also offered to give an advance payment of PHP 5M for the fresh supply of power to the facility.

GESMI took over the plant from PL Batangas Steel Corp which was forced to shut down both its steel mill and smelting shop in September 2012 after Batelec II cut the power supply to its 69KV dedicated distribution line due to arrears amounting to PHP 296M million, according to Batelec II computation representing unpaid bills and interest.

GESMI intends to increase the capacity of the steel rolling mill so it could produce up to 160,000 tonne of re bars per year from the current 120,000 tonne

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