Friday, 27 March 2009

P250-million shipbuilding facility to rise in General Santos City


MAASIM, SARANGANI — A Filipino-owned company based in this province announced in a groundbreaking ceremony earlier this week that it will put up a P250-million shipbuilding facility at the Gensan Ship-yard, read a statement of the Mindanao Economic Development Council, or MEDCo, yesterday.

The Gensan Shipyard and Machine Works, Inc. (GSMWI), a member of the RD Group of Companies, will build twin slip-ways with a combined capacity of 10,000 gross registered tons (GRT) and is proposed to be operational within the year.

Business and jobs

The facility is expected to cater to the transportation and logistics needs in the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

"The Philippines and most ASEAN countries need shipsto transport their products," the statement quoted Rodrigo E. Rivera, Sr., RD Group chairman and chief executive officer, as saying.

When completed and fully operational, the shipbuilding project should be able to generate about 700 jobs, the statement read further.

Mr. Rivera added that the project will support the roll on/roll off sea transport program of the government and medium-sized vessel construction for export to other Southeast Asian markets.


The project is also seen to contribute to the growth of the Maasim-Kiamba-Maitum growth area, with its strategic location to the BIMP-EAGA.

MEDCo chairman Virgilio L. Leyretana, Sr. said the shipyard will enable Mindanao to more actively participate in BIMP-EAGA trade and investment.

The statement said GSMWI estimates the new shipyard to bring in about $1.5 million in the first year of operation, with revenues increasing 20% annually from there on.

A MEDCo report said that investments in Mindanao doubled to P10.583 billion in the third quarter last year from P5.053 billion in the same period in 2007.

The Gensan Shipyard now has two floating dry docks with a combined lifting capacity of about 4,000 GRT and occupies approximately 185,000 square meters.

Expansion works at the shipyard are now in varying stages of completion.

"We need more of these initiatives in our efforts to enhance transportation of goods and commodities, and to push for connectivity of our transport sector in Mindanao and in BIMP-EAGA," Mr. Leyretana said.

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