Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hanjin launches two ships

THE NEW SHIPS Opal and Topaz being serviced at the dock.

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co.-Philippines (HHIC-Phil) announced yesterday that it has launched two new Subic-made vessels, the third and the fourth container ships it has built at its $1.6-billion shipyard here.

THE NEW SHIPS Opal and Topaz being serviced at the dock. An official statement quoted HHIC-Phil deputy managing director Pyeong Jong Yu as saying that the two 4,300 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) vessels, named: Opal and Topaz, will be delivered to the Greek shipping firm Dioryx Maritime Corp., which had also ordered the first six vessels scheduled for production at Hanjin’s Subic shipyard.

Mr. Yu said that more than 15,000 workers are now employed at the Hanjin shipyard in Subic’s Redondo Peninsula.

"Certainly, our company expects to achieve its goal of launching more than 15 vessels next year, as the workers will surely become better familiarized with ship-building works due to continuous training and enhanced work experience," the statement quoted Mr. Yu as saying.

HHIC-Phil launched two other container vessels built in its Subic shipyard early this year. These were the M/V Argolikos, which was delivered to the Dioryx last July 4, and the CMA CGM Turquoise, which was launched last August 30.

All the four vessels produced in Subic were 4,300-TEU container vessels that were each worth about $60 million.

According to HHIC-Phil officials, the company expects to produce more ships in Subic as the productivity in its shipyard here is fast catching up with Hanjin’s shipyard in South Korea.

"Filipinos learn fast," Hanjin quality assurance director Yoonha Kim had said during the launch of the M/V Turquoise last August.

Mr. Kim noted that hull construction and engine installation for the Turquoise was undertaken within the standard Hanjin time-table of 13 months. He added that HHIC-Phil’s goal "is to be at par with our South Korean counter-parts in terms of efficiency and quality of work." — RMG = Business Mirror

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