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10 December 2008

Hanjin launches 2 more vessels in Subic Freeport

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

Pyeong Jong Yu, deputy managing director of HHIC-Phil, said the two vessels were launched from HHIC-Phil's dry dock # 5 on December 4.

The ships will be named Opal and Topaz, respectively, and will be delivered also to the Greek shipping firm Dioryx Maritime Corp., which has ordered the first six vessels scheduled for production at Hanjin's Subic shipyard.

The launching of Opal and Topaz at one time "is the first event not only for HHIC-Phil but for the Philippine shipbuilding history," Yu said in statement.

"True to our word, we have finished building these two 4,300-TEU container vessels within six-and-a-half months without compromising required high quality, starting from their keel laying works done last May 15, 2008," Yu added.

He also said that the achievement was made possible with the use of "up-to-date technology, state-of–the-art equipment, weather-proof dock shelter that enables working during rainy season, hardworking attitudes 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 # 5, where four vessels can be simultaneously built together."

Yu also said that the company's "real secret in the successful completion of the ships is the ever-increasing number of skilled Filipino workers employed at our shipyard."

He 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 shipbuilding works due to continuous training and enhanced work experience," Yu also said.

"This is revolutionary, not only for HHIC-Phil but also for the Philippine shipbuilding industry. In the middle of the world-wide recession, it could be expected that this would greatly contribute to the Philippine economy," he added.

HHIC-Phil has launched two other container vessels built in its Subic shipyard early this year. These are the MV Argolikos, which was delivered to the Dioryx Maritime Corp. on 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— now they are experts," said Hanjin quality assurance director Yoonha Kim during the launching of the MV Turquoise in August.

Kim also praised Filipino workers for their "world-class efficiency" when hull construction and engine installation for the Turquoise was undertaken within the standard Hanjin timetable of 13 months.

He added that HHIC-Phil's goal "is to be at par with our South Korean counterparts in terms of efficiency and quality of work." (SBMA Corporate Communications)

Photo Caption:
PROUDLY SUBIC-MADE: Two more container vessels, the CMA CGM Opal and the CMA CGM Topaz, were launched by Hanjin Heavy Industries Co.-Philippines last week at its shipyard in the Subic Bay Freeport.

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