Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, October 31, 2005

Korean firm eyes $1-B facility to build ships in Subic Freeport


A Korean shipbuilding company is keen on investing $1-billion shipbuilding facility in Subic that is expected to transform the country’s premier Freeport into one of the world’s fourth biggest shipbuilding facility.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) administrator and CEO Armand C. Arreza refused to divulge the identity of the Korean firm but said the signing of the investment agreement is expected to be done during the state visit of Korean president in December this year.

"By December 15 we committed to deliver the 269 hectares that the Korean firm requires for its proposed facility," Arreza said.

According to Arreza, the Korean firm has proposed to manufacture 8,000 TEU post Panama vessels and is expected to employ 20,000 workers.

The company was also looking at putting up the facility in China and Vietnam but decided to locate in Subic because of the natural deep harbor of the Freeport.

"The negotiation already started early this year," Arreza said.

Construction of the shipbuilding facility is expected to be completed within five years.

Arreza said that Subic has been attracting not just Taiwanese firms but other nationalities as well including those from mainland China and Korea.

Committed investments in Subic as of September this year have reached over $1 billion already.

Arreza also said that they may offer another site for Hebei Jingniu Crystal Bull Co. Ltd. of China which has proposed to put up a $300-million glass production facility inside Subic.

Arreza said that Subic may not be able to provide the company with the required 100 hectare lot but said a nearby area for the Bataan Technology Park Inc. may be offered for the mainland Chinese investment.

Crystal Bull has indicated its return as long as SBMA makes a final offer for them to locate in Subic. The Chinese investors were reportedly dismayed when its proposed project was refused due to environmental reasons.

The Chinese has proposed to lease 100 hectares of land in Subic to be developed in three phases. Crystal Bull planned to put up an economic zone similar to that of the Taiwanese industrial park in Subic.

A 70 hectare lot near the Subic entrance plus a 33-hectare area close to the sea are said to being eyed for the Crystal Bull project.

Under the original plan, the Chinese group will invest in two float glass lines with a production capacity of 500 tons a day, two rolling crystallite glass lines, glass deep processing lines and glass fiber reinforced plastic yacht.

The glass firm’s other products include float sheet glass, solar control reflective glasses, multicolor high tech rolling crystallite glass with various specifications.

Its products are exported to 70 countries in Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa


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