Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, August 24, 2009

Philip Morris' Subic facility to be Asia's largest

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - Philip Morris International will increase the capacity of its Subic Bay tobacco storage facility by four times, making it the largest such warehouse in Southeast Asia.

Initially envisioned to store 6,100 metric tons of tobacco products, the facility will soon be able to keep and preserve 24,000 MTs of imported tobacco leaves, a company official said.

The new warehouse will have humidity control, fire suppression equipment, and air conditioning to store imported tobacco which will then be transported to cigarette manufacturing plants in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

The expansion forms part of the company’s plan to build a P1-billion tobacco leaf regional warehouse here, a Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. (PMPMI) official said.

As part of its expansion, PMPMI entered into a 50-year lease agreement with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), increasing the size of its warehouse from 9,600 square meters to 49,279 sq. ms.

This comprises the second phase of the company’s expansion plans in Subic Bay, PMPMI managing director Christopher Nelson said.

The warehouse expansion is "a reflection of our faith in the Philippine government, particularly the SBMA," Nelson said.

He also expressed confidence that PMPMI will remain profitable against its rivals despite increasing competition in the tobacco industry.

Currently, PMPMI employs 812 workers. It has a head office in Makati, a factory in Tanauan, Batangas, and various regional offices across the country.

"If you plan well ahead, and stay committed, this country will reward you in many ways," Nelson said. "It may be difficult to get us, but once you have us, it would be difficult for us to leave you."

In the meantime, SBMA said that its lease agreement with PMPMI “strengthens Subic Bay Freeport’s competitive posture as South East Asia’s logistics hub." - GMANews.TV

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