14 January 2015

Greek firm buys 2 Subic-built container ships

Two state-of-the-art container ships were launched in this free port by their Greek owner last week, as builder Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction-Philippines (HHIC-Phil) aimed to further solidify its position as the fourth-largest shipbuilder in the world.

HHIC-Phil President Jin Kyu Ahn said in a statement on Tuesday that the newly built ships were both 6,800 twenty-foot equivalent units container vessels ordered in January last year by Athens-based shipping company Technomar Shipping Inc.

Each vessel weighs 70,704 gross tons, and measures 270.09 meters long and 42.8 meters wide.

Top officials of Technomar, headed by Managing Director George Youroukos, christened the new vessels MV UASC Bubiyan and MV UASC Yas during a naming ceremony at the Hanjin shipyard in Subic’s Redondo Peninsula.

The ships will be homeported on Marshall Islands, Tecnomar officials said.

“These are the first two ships christened here in 2015,” Ahn said, adding that both vessels showcase the craftsmanship of Hanjin’s Filipino work force.

He said the new ship deliveries capitalized on the firm’s “accumulated wealth of experience over the years, coupled by our unrelenting pursuit for technological advancement and innovative engineering in our core business.”

Hanjin is currently one of the biggest employers in the Philippines, with a work force of about 27,000 Filipinos to date.

Ahn said that since the Hanjin started commercial operations in Subic in 2008, it has already completed a total of 77 projects, ranging from bulk carriers, container ships, crude-oil tankers and barges, mainly for overseas clients.

Still, the firm is trying hard to maintain its status as the fourth top shipbuilder in the world, a position it had firmly cemented in 2014 by breaking the $1-billion mark in terms of sales revenue.

Ahn said this has been made possible by the huge capacity of the Subic shipbuilding facility, which is about 11 times bigger than its Yeongdo shipyard in Busan, South Korea.

With a reported backlog of 39 ships, Hanjin said it will hire 2,000 additional workers this year to keep the shipyard running at full capacity. (Henry EmpeƱo, BusinessMirror)

MV UASC Yas at the Hanjin shipyard in the Subic Bay Freeport.