Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hanjin eyes early expansion of Subic facility

By Elaine Ruzul S. Ramos - Manila Standard Today

Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co. of Korea will expand its shipbuilding facility at Subic Bay Freeport by at least 100 hectares to house a training center and water treatment substation and other support facilities.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority administrator and chief executive officer Armand Arreza told reporters Hanjin’s facility would eventually occupy 500 hectares in the Redondo district.

Hanjin initially had provisions for 100 hectares and another 240 hectares for the second phase of the project. Its operations in Subic entail total investments of $1 billion.

Arreza said the ship maker had 12 orders of ship vessels, with the first ship to be delivered by 2008. Because of the orders, the company now needs some 3,000 welders. It plans to hire 200 new welders each month.

The project is expected to generate at least 15,000 new direct jobs for workers in Subic.

Hanjin, the fifth largest shipbuilder in South Korea, said its investment in Subic was part of its global strategy to improve competitiveness in the shipbuilding industry by expanding its operations overseas.

The new training facility is a permanent in-house training center to help boost the skills of prospective workers in the province.

The Korean shipbuilder opened a training center in the Freeport for P40 million early this year, converting a multi-purpose building within its shipyard.

The temporary facility, which was constructed jointly by HHIC-Philippines, SBMA, the provincial government of Zambales and the municipality of Subic, has three classrooms, 70 welding booths, one pipe-fitting room, four painting rooms and a large working area that could accommodate a maximum of 200 trainees and instructors.

It is also equipped with over 80 welding machines, two gouging machines, 40 automatic cutting machines, 80 manual cutting machines, one hydraulic shearing machine, a compressor, fork lift, 13 airless pumps, 60 air grinders and several other contemporary machinery.

During the three-month training period, 100 trainees, mostly from Zambales, Olongapo City and Bataan, will be taught the necessary skills to qualify them for shipbuilding jobs.

Hanjin Philippines managing director Myung Goo Kwon said a factor for the success of the shipbuilding industry in the international market was the pool of qualified and competent manpower, which is remotely available in the country at the moment.


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