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June 28, 2007

Hanjin spends US$ 1.68m on shipbuilding project
From the original plan to invest US$ 1 billion in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC) is all set to expand its investments in the Freeport to an additional US$ 684 million.

This was bared by HHIC director and general manager Shim Jeong Sup to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during her recent visit to the Hanjin shipyard which was timed with the inauguration of the Subic-Cawag-Balaybay Road project in Zambales.

“…the Subic shipyard will transform Subic into one of the four largest shipbuilding facilities in the whole world,” Arroyo said, expressing elation over this latest development in the Freeport.
Shim said, the additional investment would underwrite the remaining work under the first and second phase of the company’s project and increase HHIC’s investment to US$ 1.684 billion.

The expansion was made in response to the increasing number of vessels being ordered from the company. Currently, vessels capable of carrying 33 containers are among the more popular ships being ordered from the domestic shipyard.

President Arroyo assured the Korean investors who brought in the biggest single foreign direct investment into the Philippines last year, that government would continue to take steps to make investment decisions easy.

“The difficult and politically unpopular steps we took to raise taxes are bearing fruit. We are now able to make significant investments in people and infrastructure. This includes billions of pesos in programs to promote human capital like education, health care, social services and training like the welders training center that we put up here in Subic, TESDA and Hanjin together,” the President noted.
The training center currently averages 1,200 trainees per batch every three months.

In the meantime, HHIC recently began the fabrication of its first container vessel, costing some US$ 70 million, in its Subic Freeport shipyard.

The Korean company is also scheduled to deliver 33 medium-sized container vessels worth almost US$ 3 billion in the next two years, and build 82 large-sized ones from 2009 to 2011.

“Included in Hanjin’s production pipeline is the fabrication of a multimillion-dollar vessel, which would be the biggest ship in the world. This, plus company’s production and export projections, will significantly increase their manpower requirements and export revenues,” SBMA administrator Armand Arreza said.

Currently, Hanjin directly employs almost 3,000 employees for its shipbuilding operations while its expansion plans are expected to open up more than 13,000 direct jobs by next year and 15,800 by 2011.
“As HHIC expands it operations, employment opportunities in Hanjin will double or even triple, owing to the thousands of indirect jobs to be created by its supply chain and support industries,” Arreza noted. PNA 

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