06 August 2016

P60-B project to boost Subic Freeport as logistics hub

A P60-billion investment project to be implemented by an Australian firm here is expected to push this premier free port into the ranks of top global logistics centers today.

This was announced by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Robert Garcia yesterday at a press briefing here, wherein he also cited other new investment projects that had been approved by the SBMA board of directors.

According to the SBMA official, Asian Institute of Aviation (AIA) will occupy seven hectares of land near the Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA) and will build hangars and food processing stations for its intermodal logistics business.

Garcia said that AIA will be joined by an Australian firm, which will buy into the company for the new operations.

“The business model of the company is to export from Australia to China, Japan, and other Asian countries, via airplanes,” Garcia said. “The company will import meat, sea food, and other agricultural products from Australia by plane or by ship to Subic Bay, and will process and package these products according to customer orders and then deliver them to customers.”

Garcia explained that the Australian partner has been doing the processing already in Australia, but because the processing in Australia entails higher labor cost, it has decided to do the processing in Subic.

The operation, Garcia said, will become intermodal. “They will ship out by air since they have seven jets; they will also ship out via seaport, and their volume for the seaport is 60 containers per month,” Garcia said.

Aside from the P60-billion investment, the project will generate 800 jobs, aside from those during the construction of facilities, and the company “has also shown interest in providing new equipment for the tower at the Subic airport,” Garcia said.

The new investor also plans to build hangars for maintenance and repair operations (MRO) that will cater to jets in Hong Kong. “Mahal magparada ng jet dun. You pay $3,000 just to park it outside without a hangar,” Garcia added.

The new investment has been approved in principle by the SBMA board after the proponents showed proof of funds, Garcia said, adding that the construction of proposed facilities will still be subject to detailed engineering design.

“This is a good project for us,” Garcia said. (JRR/MPD-SBMA)