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Russian firm eyes $250-M nickel processing plant in Surigao Norte

Russian investors accompanied by Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev and top officials of its local counterpart met on Sunday with Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol Matugas to seek support and cooperation for the planned nickel processing facility in the province. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Governor /Surigao del Norte

Russian firm Vi Holding LLC and Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. (FNI), the country’s second largest nickel producer have unveiled plans to build what could be the third nickel processing plant in the Philippines – a $250-million processing facility in Surigao del Norte.

The Russian investors accompanied by Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev and the top officials of its local counterpart on Sunday met with Governor Sol Matugas and discussed about the planned ferrous nickel processing plant in Claver town.

During the initial discussion, the delegation assured provincial officials that the processing plant to be constructed on a 100-hectare area in Claver is very much “environment- and eco-friendly.”

“We do not use chemical, no use of sulfuric acid, our technology is very environment-friendly and this is the first pilot project in the Philippines with a projected cost close to US$250 million,” the chief executive officer of the group said.

Construction of the plant, which would need an initial 1,000 workers is expected to start next year.

For her part, Matugas said she was glad on the intention of the Russian government and its investors, along with its local counterpart in establishing business in the province, which according to her can also add local revenues aside from generating jobs.

“Local revenues can boost more infrastructure projects in the province,” Matugas said.

However, the governor pointed out the Surigaonon first policy is to give priority to Surigaonons to be employed.

“We want that the first to benefit from this new investment is a Surigaonon,” Matugas added. By CLC

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