03 July 2008

PGMA to Name 1st RP-made Container Ship

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is guest of honor on July 4's formal naming ceremony of the first ship to be built in this free port by Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp.-Philippines (HHIC-Phil).

The ship, which will be named MV Argolikos, is also the first container carrier to be built in the country, said Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Feliciano Salonga.

This ship is named after Argolikos, a small gulf located at the east coast of Peloponnese, Greece, which opens into the Aegean Sea.

Following the naming ceremony, the 41,000-ton carrier will be delivered to its Greek owner, the Dioryx Maritime Corporation.

Aside from President Arroyo, Korean ambassador Jong Ki Hong and Greek ambassador Georges Chrysostomos Nicolaidis are expected to attend the ceremony today.

She will be welcomed at the Hanjin shipyard here by HHIC-Phil chairman Nam Ho Cho, HHIC-Phil president Jeong Sup Shim, Sec. Edgardo Pamintuan of the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development (SCAD), Zambales Gov. Amor Deloso, and SBMA officials led by Salonga and Administrator Armand Arreza.

According to Hanjin officials, the MV Argolikos has a market price of about US$60 million.

It weighs 41,000 tons, has a length of 258.9 meters, a width of 32 meters, a height of 19 meters, and an actual speed of 24.6 knots.

The ship underwent the required sea trials on May 27-29, and “performed well beyond expectations,” said Pyeong Jong Yu, head of HHIC-Phil’s Outside Business Department.

Yu also said that prior to the sea trial, the vessel has been issued an attestation from the Bureau Veritas, a vessel certification agency.

Hanjin has also secured for the ship a cargo ship safety equipment certificate, a complete crew list, and a certificate of competency for the Korean crew from the Busan Regional Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Office, Yu added.

Salonga said meanwhile that the MV Argolikos has made local maritime history when it was completed six months ahead of schedule after the keel was laid in September last year.

He added that while Cebu was ahead of Subic in shipbuilding, after its Japanese-owned shipyard in Balamban began building ships in 1994, the largest ships will be built in the Subic Bay Freeport.

“This is where big ships for exports to other countries will be made,” he said.

Salonga also said that the Argolikos will just be the first of six units of container vessels lined up for delivery to Dioryx starting 2009.

He added that HHIC-Phil is also eyeing the manufacture in Subic of some of the largest container ships in the world, with gross tonnage of more or less 100,000 tons. (SBMA Corporate Communications)