Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hanjin to build more ships in Subic

After completing four ships in the Subic Bay Freeport, northwest of Manila, and despite fatal accidents, Hanjin Heavy Industries Co.-Philippines (HHIC-Phil) plans to build more ships in its shipyard in the free port after launching two vessels last Dec 4.

Company officials said that with standing orders from fleet owners the $1.6-billion shipbuilding facility was “fast catching up” with its facilities in South Korea—among the biggest in the world—in terms of efficiency and quality of work.

HHIC-Phil announced that it had launched the third and fourth container ships built in Subic, to be named Opal and Topaz, worth $60 million each.

Company deputy managing director Pyeong Jong Yu said the two vessels would be delivered to the Greek shipping firm Dioryx Maritime Corp.

Dioryx is the same firm that received the first two previous deliveries from Subic, named Argolikos and Turquoise—launched in July and August, respectively.

Dioryx is also awaiting the delivery of the fifth and sixth ships from Subic.

“We have finished building these two 4,300-TEU (twenty-food equivalent unit) container vessels within six and a half months without compromising required high quality,” Yu said.

Yu attributed Hanjin’s success so far to the “hardworking attitude of our employees, systematic training at Skill Development Center that is deemed largest in the world, actual work-training in the shipyard thereafter, and the size of dry dock No. 5, where four vessels can be simultaneously built together.”

Further, Yu praised the “ever-increasing number of skilled Filipino workers employed at our shipyard,” which now number at least 15,000.

“Our company expects to achieve its goal of launching more than 15 vessels next year as the workers will surely become better familiarized with shipbuilding works due to continuous training and enhanced work experience,” he said.

Also last week, the board of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority announced that it had banned a subcontractor of Hanjin but spared the Korean shipyard owner from suspension despite the death of 17 Filipino workers at the facility in Subic Bay Freeport since 2006. By Ronnel Domingo - Philippine Daily Inquirer

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