San Miguel to venture into electronics manufacturing, clean energy

MANILA, Philippines – Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC) plans to go into electronics manufacturing and clean energy.

San Miguel president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang told reporters on the sidelines of Top Frontier Holdings' annual stockholders' meeting that his conglomerate aims to venture into electronics manufacturing, which he described as something that could deliver high margins.

"We are now studying how to go to electronic microchips. That is our aspiration," Ang said on Wednesday, July 12, without giving further details.

He cited as an example South Korea's electronics giant Samsung, which exported $40 billion worth of microchips to Vietnam alone.

"We are going to that direction… the 3rd wave of diversification is to go the next generation which is electronics," Ang said.

"Can you imagine if we can go to the next generation? If we can produce like microchips, plug-ins, smart telephones, tablets, and smart television? That is where we are going."

Clean energy

Aside from electronics manufacturing, Ang said they are also interested in clean energy including hydro, solar, and tidal energy sources. 

San Miguel already operates several coal energy plants under its power unit.

From being a food and beverage company, San Miguel has diversified into high-growth industries such as infrastructure, power generation, oil manufacturing, and mining.

In the next 5 years, Ang expects San Miguel to triple its income. (READ: San Miguel to buy stake in BMW supplier in PH)

"We expect 2017 to be better than 2016 level. We are also projecting that in the next 5 years the company will triple its net income," he said.

Meanwhile, Top Frontier could start constructing its planned $1.5-billion nickel processing plant by 2018.

Ang said the feasibility study for the proposed 200,000-metric-ton nickel processing plant near its Nonoc mining site will be completed by the end of the year.

"We are now finalizing the feasibility study of the project then the technical and financial study. If the results are positive we will go for financing and probably start construction by next year," he said.

Top Frontier, through its mining unit Clariden Holdings Incorporated, holds several mining tenements in various areas including Nonoc Nickel Project and Mt Cadig Nickel Project.

It also owns exploration permits for certain areas under the Bango Gold Project, and has pending applications and production sharing agreements for other areas.

The share price of San Miguel on Wednesday closed lower by P0.30 to P103 each. –