BOI rejects steel mfg project over environmental concerns
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - September 4, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Board of Investments (BOI) has denied the application of Philippine Sanjia - Steel Corp. for its P800-million steel manufacturing project due to environmental concerns. 

In a letter dated Aug. 20 to Philippine Iron and Steel Institute (PISI) president Roberto Cola, Elyjean DC Portoza, officer-in-charge director for the legal and compliance service at the BOI, said the agency has decided to reject Philippine Sanjia-Steel’s application.

“The Board, in its July 18, 2019 meeting, resolved to deny Philippine Sanjia-Steel Corp.’s application, taking into consideration the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ policy against induction furnaces with defective or substandard air pollution control technology, and the points raised in PISI’s letter of objection, dated July 11, 2019, and PISI’s letter of concern, dated Jan. 30, 2019,” the letter said.

In its letter to the BOI dated July 11, PISI said it opposes the grant of incentives to Philippine Sanjia-Steel’s project of producing reinforcing steel bar using coreless electric furnace smelting technology. 

The project involves processing of raw materials into steel products including construction steel, industrial steel, angle iron and beam channel.

It is projected to provide employment to an initial 150 individuals, and to a total of 300 after three years. 

PISI said induction furnace facilities do not have the capability to remove harmful elements of phosphorus and sulfur from liquid steel.

These harmful elements are present in varying amounts in the scrap iron and steel raw material, and pose danger to the environment due to the “hit or miss” operation for every heat or batch of steel produced.

PISI also said the use of induction furnace facilities for producing construction grade steel has been banned by the Chinese government since January 2017.

During the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Senior Economic Officials Meeting in January last year, the ASEAN Iron and Steel Council has also raised concern over the moving of obsolete induction furnace facilities from China to Southeast Asian countries.

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