26 January 2010

Subic Freeport 2009 expansion projects total $23.7 million

Despite the effects of the global recession during the previous year, investors in this free port moved forward and implemented expansion projects totaling $23.7 million, or about P1.08 billion.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) administrator Armand Arreza said the agency’s board of directors approved a total of 25 expansion projects proposed in 2009 by Subic-registered companies.

“Clearly, there was substantial growth in the Subic Bay Freeport amidst the global recession last year,” Arreza pointed out. “Despite the global slump, our business locators made additional infusions — proving that Subic has the right atmosphere for growth.”

Figures released by the SBMA indicated that most of the expansion projects were proposed by investors in manufacturing, leisure, and logistics sectors.

Out of the 25 expansion proposals, eight projects involved additional investments exceeding $1 million each.

Topping the list in terms of expansion commitments is Philippine Coastal Storage and Pipeline Corp., an all-Filipino firm that operates terminal and oil depot facilities in Subic. The firm earmarked $7.17 million for its expansion project.

In the second spot is Mega Subic Terminal Services, Inc., another Filipino-owned firm that operates an integrated cargo handling facility for bulk and bagged cargoes. Mega Terminal pledged an additional $417,000 in February and $3.65 million in August for a total of $4.06 million in expansion projects.

Next came Koryo Subic, Inc., a Japanese manufacturer of high precision plastic molding for electronic products, with additional investments worth $3.73 million; United Auctioneers, Inc., a Filipino-owned trading, transshipment, warehousing, and auctioning firm, with $1.62 million; and property developer Innasia Corp. with $1.44 million.

Other firms with expansion pledges in the million-dollar level are Grand Pillar International Development, Inc., with $1.19 million; Puregold Duty Free (Subic), Inc., with $1.05 million; and Nicera Phils., Inc. with $1 million.

Arreza also disclosed that of the total $23.7-million expansion projects, some $5.45 million accounted for foreign direct investments (FDIs) coming particularly from Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Combined, the expansion projects and new projects approved by the SBMA in 2009 totaled $217.17 million.

While year-on-year figures would show that new investment commitments fell by 22 percent from the $249 million total in 2008, Arreza said the $217-million total generated by the SBMA last year “is already a big blessing, so to speak, considering the global recession.”

“This brought Subic’s cumulative investments total to $5.97 billion,” he added.

Arreza further announced that more Subic locators are gearing for expansion projects this year. The projects in the pipeline include an additional infusion of $416,000 by R. Joseph Holdings, which has initially invested an additional $125,000; and that of Southwing Heavy Industries, Inc., with a projected expansion of $3.2 million.

The two expansion projects are also expected to generate some 100 new jobs in the Subic Bay Freeport, Arreza added. (SBMA Corporate Communications)