Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Korea's Hanjin to expand RP operation

Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp.-Philippines (HHIC-Phil.) will expand its Subic operation as it is set to start building oil tankers and bulk carriers next year.

This was disclosed by Hanjin quality assurance director Kim Yoon-ha during the launch of the second container vessel constructed at the Subic Bay Freeport shipyard.

The container vessel CMA CGM Turquoise was completed only a month after the first one was delivered to its owner.

Kim credited the efficient operation of the shipyard to the improving skills of Filipino workers.

"Filipinos learn fast- now they are experts," Kim said. He said Filipino workers displayed "world-class efficiency" since the hull construction and engine installation for the CMA CGM Turquoise was undertaken within the standard Hanjin timetable of one year and one month.

According to HHIC-Phil officials, productivity in the Subic shipyard is fast catching up with that of the South Korean base.

Kim added the completion of the second vessel showed the increased efficiency and technical know-how of Filipino workers when compared to the construction of the MV Argolikos, which took 14 months.

The MV Argolikos was the first ship assembled in Subic. It was bought by Greek shiping company Dioryx Maritime Corp. The second ship will also be delivered to Dioryx.

The Greek firm has ordered six container vessels, each with a capacity of 4,300 TEUs, a gross weight of 41,000 tons, and measuring 258.9 meters in length, 19 meters high and 32 meters wide.

"Our goal is to be at par with our South Korean counterparts in terms of efficiency and quality of work," Kim said.

Like the MV Agrilikos, the second container vessel is also a 4,300-TEU (twenty-foot equivalent) container ship. Currently it is in the shipyard's quayside where it will sit for three months as electrical systems and other facilities are installed prior to its sea trial.

The ship has a market value of about $60 million. - Ma. Elisa P. Osorio (Philstar News Service

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