19 April 2013

Hanjin Phil. delivers 2 Bulk Carriers to Rio Tinto Shipping

Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co., Ltd. - Philippines (HHIC-Phil Inc.) reached yet another milestone when it held the simultaneous unveiling of 2 newly-built Bulk Carriers in its modern 30-hectare shipyard in Redondo Peninsula on April 16, 2013.

The vessels, named after famous explorers Christopher Columbus and Abel Tasman, were the 7th and 8th ships purchased by leading international mining group Rio Tinto Shipping Limited.

"RTM Columbus" and "RTM Tasman," which both tipped the scale at 106,796 tons, will have London in the United Kingdom as their homeport.

Last January, Hanjin also delivered to England-based Rio Tinto executives the two vessels, M/V "RTM Cabot" and M/V "RTM Drake, each worth about 60 M USD respectively.

Attending the event in Hanjin's modern shipyard in Subic for the unveiling of "RTM Columbus" and "RTM Tasman" were Ms. AnnbelMcGagh and Mrs. Wendy Smith, together with HHIC-Phil Inc. senior officials, Rio Tinto executives Alastair Fischbacher, Allan Smith and John McGagh, and representatives from classification society Lloyd's Register.

Since 2008, HHIC-Phil Inc. has now delivered a total of 51 vessels amounting to over 3 B USD for various overseas clients mostly engaged in international trade and maritime solutions, thereby boosting the Philippines' export portfolio.

HHIC-Phil Inc. President Jin Kyu Ah said that the Korean shipbuilder's capacity to produce high-tech ships is largely due to its ability to remain resilient amid the growing challenges facing the global shipbuilding market today.

"We continuously harness and maximize our shipbuilding capability and resources to win our clients' trust and confidence. We believe that these are the vital ingredients in order for us to keep on exporting commercial vessels during these difficult times", Ahn said.

Cutting-edge technology combined with highly trained and skilled manpower of its shipyard workers, Ahn said that Hanjin is "pushing hard to sustain a cost-efficient production system and meet, if not surpass, the clients' expectations and demands".

Mr. Ahn noted, however, that the shipbuilding industry has yet to regain its long lost ground owing to small demand this year for new vessels caused by diminished maritime activities around the world.

"HHIC-Phil Inc. is exerting its best efforts to be competitive and cope with this depressing situation, which has already created cut-throat competition among shipbuilders in the international front. Thus, any form of short or long term support to help uplift our industry from by the public sector is welcome, if only to perpetuate, or push even further, the Philippines' current 4th place ranking in the global shipbuilding arena", Mr. Ahn stressed.

But despite this daunting task of keeping its core business afloat vis-à-vis the present economic reality, the Korean shipbuilder will continue to look after the welfare of the Hanjin shipyard workforce and prevent cutting down of operations, Ahn said.

In line with this providing its workforce with opportunities, HHIC-Phil Inc. broke new ground in its housing project for its nearly 20,000 local workforce as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The Korean shipbuilder, in partnership with Pag-IBIG Fund and Fiesta Communities, recently inaugurated a 30-hectare housing project dubbed as "Hanjin Village" with Vice- President of the Philippines Jejomar C. as guest of honor.

Strategically located in Sitio Nagbayto, Brgy. Nagbunga, Zambales, the newest community will initially cater to 2,000 employees and their families, with Hanjin donating the land to the housing project for free.

The project also showcased Pag-IBIG Fund's "Matching Needs" program which translated to a more affordable housing packages for the worker-beneficiaries, highlighting the public-private partnership among Hanjin and the relevant government entities. (Manila Bulletin)