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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hanjin to invest $2b more

By Joyce Pangco Pañares - Manila Standard Today

Korea’s Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Corp. will invest $2 billion in a new shipyard complex in Mindanao, its second in the Philippines after putting up a similar facility in Subic last year.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo met with Hanjin president Jeong Sup Shim at the Palace yesterday where she was informed of the latest investment in Misamis Oriental.

The money committed by Hanjin in Mindanao surpasses its capital inflow in Subic last year, which made Korea the single-biggest source of foreign direct investment in 2006.

Presidential Management Staff head Cerge Remonde said the Mindanao shipyard would be two times bigger than the complex of Hanjin in Subic.

The new facility will be constructed at the 3,000-hectare Phividec Industrial Estate in the towns of Tagoloan and Villanueva.

“The construction of general manufacturing plant of the shipbuilding facility would start early next year,” Jeong told the President.

Jeong said the plant would start fabricating ships by 2010 and was expected to export some $1.7 billion worth of shipbuilding parts and vessels two years later.

“Hanjin’s Mindanao plant would employ about 30,000 Filipinos, particularly engineers, welders, and steel fabricators,” Jeong added.

Hanjin’s Subic project is expected to generate at least $3.6 billion in annual sales with a yearly construction capacity of 60 ships worth $60 million each.

The biggest shipping vessel in the world, a $150-million floating mammoth, is currently being constructed in Subic. The vessel is expected to be bigger than the 260,851-ton Seawise Giant, which also goes by the name Jahre Viking.

Hanjin also opened a $40-million training center for shipyard workers in Subic. Hanjin has already employed some 2,400 Filipinos for its drydock construction, and is expected to hire 30,000 more in the next five years.

The President earlier created an inter-agency committee that will formulate a comprehensive five-year development plan for the ship building sector to attract more investors like Hanjin.

Mrs. Arroyo signed Executive Order No. 588 creating the ad hoc committee that will be headed by the Maritime Industry Authority.

“The accelerated and sustained development of the ship building and ship repair sector requires the joint and active collaboration between the government and the private sector as shown by even the most developed countries in the world,” the President said.

“There is a need to attract and maintain much-needed investments for the development of shipbuilding and ship repair sector in view of its capacity to contribute to the country’s economic output and its potential to open up vast opportunities for employment and skills training for Filipinos,” she added.

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