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FNI gains stake of Seasia Nectar Port

Maria Romero

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FNI, the Philippines second-largest nickel producer, says the acquired shares are equivalent to a 40-percent stake in SNPSI. (Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. FB)

Listed mining firm Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. (FNI) on Friday disclosed that it spent P450 million to buy 1.67 million shares in Seasia Nectar Port Services, Inc. (SNPSI) in bid to diversify its plan for 2020.

FNI — the country’s second-largest nickel producer — said the acquired shares are equivalent to a 40-percent stake in SNPSI.

“Our investment in SNPSI paves the way for the successful operations of our steel processing plant located in proximity to the terminal,” said FNI president Atty. Dante R. Bravo. “It helps ensure we have easy and steady access to port services given that FNI Steel relies heavily on the importation of raw materials especially during this period of construction.”

A joint venture company among Seasia Logistics Philippines, Inc., Nectar Group Ltd., and Web Technologies Inc., SNPSI operates the first purpose-built Dry Bulk Terminal located within the Freeport Area of Bataan in Mariveles.

The terminal handles shipments of coal, clinker, silica sand and cement raw materials, as well as steel, fertilizer and other dry bulk cargoes and to recall, FNI earlier announced that it is investing $50 million to build a Rebar Steel Rolling Plant that it eyes to operate by 2022.

The company also noted that the investment seeks to take advantage of the country’s growing infrastructure development under the government’s “Build, Build, Build” project and stressed that it would spend $20 million for the construction of the rebar steel-rolling plant and about $20 million to $30 million for its operational expenses.

According to Bravo, FNI would spend for 51 percent of the project expenditure while its partner Hong Kong-based Huarong Asia Ltd. (Huarong) would shoulder the remaining funding requirements, adding that FNI may have to acquire loans to support the plant’s financial requirements.

Once operational, the facility is estimated to have an annual output of 600,000 tons of steel bars.

In the third quarter of the year, FNI revenues and income rose significantly on the back of higher nickel ore prices and as of end-September, the company recorded revenues of P4.79 billion, up 5.4 percent compared to the P4.54 billion in the first nine months of last year.

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