Monday, 9 May 2011

Hanjin delivers three new bulk carriers

Business Mirror

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Corp.-Philippines delivered on Friday three capesize bulk carriers to Belgium-based shipping conglomerate Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB), sealing a business deal made in 2009 that pushed through despite the global economic crisis.

Officials of CMB and subsidiaries Bocimar International and Delphis NV unveiled the three Subic-built bulk carriers during a vessel-naming ceremony at the Hanjin shipyard here.

The ceremony was attended by guests of honor Vice President Jejomar Binay, Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., CMB Group managing director Marc Saverys, Bocimar International managing director Benoit Timmermans, and Delphis NV managing director Alexander Saverys.

Catherine Cauwe, Michelle Lyttle and Florence Zajac, wives of executives in the CMB Group, served as sponsors in the ceremony and respectively named the vessels M/V Mineral Manila, M/V Mineral Subic and M/V Lake Dolphin.

Hanjin Heavy Philippines president Jin Kyu Ahn said the naming ceremony was very meaningful to the company as it marked the first time that Hanjin delivered three vessels in one day since starting the Subic venture in 2006.

“Most importantly, this occasion highlights not only the mutual support and cooperation between CMB Group and Hanjin but also our company’s commitment to nation-building,” Jin added.

According to Hanjin, each of the three capesize bulk carriers has a capacity of 180,000 deadweight tons and a net tonnage of 59,082 tons. The ships all have a length of 292 meters, width of 45 meters and depth of 24.75 meters.

M/V Mineral Manila was purchased by Bocimar International, CMB’s flagship firm in dry bulk cargo transport while M/V Mineral Subic and M/V Lake Dolphin were acquired by Delphis NV, which specializes in multimodal container transport.

Jin said the new shipbuilding projects were conceived in February 2009, when Delphis and Hanjin both agreed to transfer the production of N-240 series vessels to the Subic shipyard to overcome difficulties brought about by the global financial crisis.

“Relying on Hanjin’s world-class competency during the economic crisis, the CMB Group boldly made additional orders of one 180,000-dwt and three 205,000-dwt bulk carriers, and four 3,800-TEU [twenty-foot equivalent units] container carriers to our Subic shipyard,” Jin also said.

“This gesture of great confidence by CMB Group on Hanjin has greatly motivated us to even work harder to be innovative in terms of technology and manpower investment,” he added.

Jin also said with the continued support of stakeholders, including various agencies of the Philippine government, “Hanjin will keep on achieving milestones in shipbuilding, thereby permanently placing the Philippines on the map of the world’s top shipbuilders.”

For his part, Binay said the delivery by Hanjin of three more ships from its Subic shipyard “is proof of the country’s progress in shipbuilding.”

“Today’s ceremony is a concrete manifestation of how far the domestic shipbuilding industry has advanced and how it is making a mark in our national development,” Binay said, recalling that it was only a few years ago when the Philippines made the decisive step in creating the legal environment to let foreign investors invest in joint ventures with local shipyards.

He also noted complementary efforts of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority in promoting the local shipping industry and attracting investors in maritime-related businesses.

“By the end of 2010, it was projected that the Philippines will have ranked fourth in the world in ship building. This is a great achievement for developing countries, like the Philippines, as compared to those industrialized nations that have long been prominent in ship construction,” Binay said.

Hanjin officials said the company, which now employs 22,000 skilled workers, has already delivered 20 vessels to foreign clients since 2008 when it unveiled the first Subic-made ship, the M/V Argolikos.

After completing its shipyard expansion project two years ago, which gave birth to the two largest drydocks in the world, Hanjin has revved up its shipbuilding program further to complete new shipbuilding projects that have been booked until 2013.

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