06 October 2009

Hanjin Subic gets 10 ship orders from French container firm

CMA CGM Group, the world’s third-largest container line operator, has placed ship orders to South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin for 10 ships for Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction -Philippines (HHIC-Phil) in Subic.

CMA CGM has a total of 51 ships ordered from various South Korean shipyards for the 2009-2012 period.

CMA CGM is a leading client of South Korean yards and Hanjin has secured orders which will be constructed by its affiliate yard in the Philippines.

It currently operates 370 ships in 200 shipping lines around the world.

The firm is undergoing debt restructuring effort and has reached agreement on the establishment of a committee comprised of French, European and international banks including certain major financial institutions from Asia and the Republic of Korea.

The firm is addressing short and medium term financing requirements with a view of strengthening the capital structure to ensure its ongoing development.

In 2008, it moved the equivalent of 8.9 million 20-foot container units, generating revenue estimated at $15.1 billion.

Compared with the second half of 2008, the first half of 2009 saw record decreases in freight rates and shipment volumes on all main shipping lines around the world.

However, the level of activity began to improve again during the third quarter of this year and, so far this recovery is sustained in the fourth quarter.

The forecasted load factors and freight rates for the beginning of 2010 suggest a possible continuation of these recent positive trends.

CMA CGM will continue with the initiatives started during the course of 2009.

CMA CGM is aiming to reach an all-encompassing agreement with the help of the committee by the middle of November.

HHIC-Phil on the other hand said the continued construction of high value ships only show its positive performance amidst the economic meltdown.

The Subic Shipyard, one of the world’s Top 10 largest shipyards, is equipped with high technology shipbuilding facilities that include mega docks and goliath cranes that are used to build high technology, high value added ships.

At present, the Subic shipyard focuses on mega and large container carriers of 12,800 TEU or more, as well as tankers and bulk carriers and it no longer import ship components from Korea, as it embarks on building its own.

Lynette Dela Cruz, Seaport Department Strategic Planning Head of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) said Hanjin Subic delivered the 5th vessel to an Egyptian firm in August. (Genivi Facto, Malaya)