By Mike Crismundo
SURIGAO CITY – Russian investors visited the Office of Governor Sol Matugas here Sunday afternoon and discussed about a processing plant to be invested in Surigao del Norte province.
The Russian investor is looking for a 100-hectare area in Claver town in the province to construct its environment-friendly $250-million ferrous nickel processing plant.
The Russian investors were accompanied by Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev and the top officials of its local counterpart, the Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc.
Accordingly, the industry would need an initial 1,000 workers to run the plant and they need the support and cooperation from the local government unit (LGU) in partnership with its local counterpart.
During the initial discussion, the Russian investors (their identities temporarily withheld for security reason) assured that the processing plant they would construct 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.
On the other hand, Khovaev in that same meeting said it’s time for Filipinos to discover Russia and it’s time for Russians to discover Philippines.
“We’ll assure Russian Embassy will do our best to support business people, we trust local government and trust security,” he added.
Meanwhile, Matugas 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,” the governor pointed out.
However, the provincial chief executive explained that 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 further explained.
Officials of the province and even of Claver town and its neighboring areas were glad upon learning the intention of the Russian investors and its local counterpart in the Philippines.
“This is another milestone for the fast-rising and continuous economic growth of the province,” said former Surigao del Norte Representative Francisco T. Matugas, who also welcomed the Russian Ambassador and the Russian investors, along with the officials of its local counterpart from the Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. during their meeting with the provincial officials at the Governor’s Office yesterday.
“This is also another additional economic growth for Caraga region,” said the former Surigao del Norte solon, speaking of several companies now mushrooming in the different parts of the region, particularly in the province of Surigao del Norte.