12 September 2008

Hanjin's Subic Bay shipyard building 2 supertankers

South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction (HHIC) will be building two units of Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) worth a total of $330 million at its shipyard in Subic Bay Freeport.

According to a company statement received by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Hanjin has entered into a contract to construct two large carriers for Emarat Maritime LLC (EML) of the United Arab Emirates.

The deal was signed on September 3 by EML president Jitendra Misra and HHIC president Kyu-Won Park on behalf of HHIC-Phil, the company's construction arm based in Subic.

The construction of VLCCs will be the first for Hanjin, which has not been able to participate in large vessel production in the past due to limited space at its Yeongdo shipyard in Korea.

"With the completion of the Subic Shipyard, we're now able to build very large vessels," the HHIC statement said."From now on, we're going to focus on high value-added vessels and strengthen our competitiveness through improvement of productivity and technical development based on close cooperation between Yeongdo Shipyard and Subic Shipyard," the HHIC added.

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said Hanjin's VLCC contract would accelerate Subic's recognition as a global player in the shipbuilding industry, as well as increase the freeport's job creation and export production thrusts.

"This is no small feat for Subic, considering that it has just recently shifted its focus to its maritime trade potentials. Now, the Subic Bay Freeport, as well as
the Philippines, is gaining popularity for its capability to produce world-class ships," Arreza added.

According to Hanjin, the first VLCCs to be built in Subic are expected to be delivered in June 2011.The 320,000-ton vessels will be 333 meters long, 60 meters wide and 30.5 meters deep, with speed of up to 16 knots. The vessels will be
double-hulled in compliance with maritime industry standards.

Hanjin officials said that with the "revolutionary progress" of VLCC construction in Subic, the company has received high praises from the industry.

The firm's Subic shipyard delivered its first ship, the 41,000-ton container carrier MV Argolikos last July, and launched its second vessel, the CMA CGM Turquoise a month later. Hanjin said it also recently won a total of $630 million shipbuilding deals in a row, including those for a capesize bulk carrier for Sealink Shipping of
Hong Kong on August 27, and two bulk carriers for MPC Steamship of Germany on August 27. (Malou Dungog)