(The Philippine Star) | Updated November 23, 2016 – 12:00am
IRON, STEEL STUDY: The Metals Industry Research and Development and Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development signed a memorandum of agreement for the conduct of a feasibility study designed to boost the local production of iron using the country’s indigenous mineral resources. Photo shows Trade Undersecretary for Industry Development and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo (middle) with other signatories of the agreement MIRDC executive director Robert Dizon (left) and PCIEERD deputy executive director Raul Sabularse.
MANILA, Philippines – The Board of Investments (BOI) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) have agreed to conduct a joint feasibility study to boost the local production of iron using the indigenous mineral resources.
Trade Undersecretary and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said the study is in line with President Duterte’s order to pursue industrialization and create the country’s own steel industry.
“A genuine local iron and steel industry is a strategic element for the country’s socioeconomic development. It can serve as backbone for many sectors of the economy as it is highly interrelated with many sectors specifically infrastructure, power, transportation and manufacturing industries,” Rodolfo said.
“In fact, President Duterte specifically gave directives to look into the viability of local magnetite ores, particularly black sand, as intermediate iron products for use in the production of iron and steel,” he added.
Under the agreement, both agencies will share in funding the study while the DOST’s Metals Industry Research and Development Bureau will serve as implementing agency.
The study, according to the BOI, will identify and establish the preliminary technical feasibility of the ironmaking technology suitable for the processing of local magnetite ore, particularly black sand, into intermediate products for use in the production of iron and steel.
The study also aims to determine the economic feasibility of putting up an iron making facility in the country in the context of availability and location of black sand and reductants, the location of markets, and other necessary factors such transport facilities and power sourcing.
The Philippine Iron and Steel Institute said the country’s steel consumption reached 8.76 million metric tons (MT) last year, 20 percent more than the 7.2 million MT recorded in 2014.
Iron and steel were the country’s sixth biggest import products at $1.7 billion in 2015. The imports came mostly from China, Russia, Korea, Japan and Taiwan.