Manila, Philippines, 10 February 2011 – United Pulp and Paper Co. Inc. (UPPC), the country’s largest producer of paper-based packaging materials, has announced a new round of investments of PHP 5.5 billion in the next five years, but said such investments hinge on a favorable government action to impose a definitive safeguard duty on imported testliner boards, the materials for the paper-based production of packaging materials.
In a statement, UPPC president Dumrongsak Dheerakiatkumchorn said the new investments would be used for additional improvements for its plant equipment and machineries, such as additional bailing stations, construction of coal warehouse to optimize generation and use of power, production improvements and raw material sourcing. Over the last 15 years, UPPC has invested some PHP 5.6 billion in operational improvements, with another PHP 5.5 billion in the pipeline.
However, the company’s decision to finally pour in the investments would hinge on a favorable decision by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to impose a definitive safeguard measure on imported testliner boards.
In January 2011, the Tariff Commission has recommended a specific duty of PHP 1342/metric ton as the form of the definitive safeguard measure after having determined that imports have caused serious injury to the domestic industry.
The recommendation of the Tariff Commission is currently under review by the DTI.
The Tariff Commission has, after hearing and receiving evidence from all parties concerned, determined that the local paper packaging industry is suffering serious injury or threat of serious injury from competing imported products and has recommended the imposition of safeguard measures.
“There is so much potential in the Philippine market for investors like us and we remain committed to investing both in expansion and in the improvement of industry efficiencies with an eye toward continued industry growth,” Dheerakiatkumchorn said.
UPPC is the single largest contributor in its municipality and is multiawarded for its environment-friendly operations. Aside from improving the quality of life through education, the company advocated “green operations” within the industry through green forums for business partners that showcase best practices and waste management volunteerism initiatives.