Redondo PeninsulaSUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Two foreign shipbuilding firms are eyeing to set up shipbuilding facility beside the shipyard of Hanjin Heavy Industries, Corporation-Philippines (HHIC-Phil) shipyard in the Redondo Peninsula here.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia said that a European shipbuilding company and a Japanese shipbuilding firm are eyeing the 600-hectare land near Hanjin.

“The SBMA already had talks with both companies and both are interested. If that happens, Hanjin will have a shipbuilding neighbor,” Garcia said.

“Hanjin has already reserved a 100-hectare land on the other side of its shipbuilding facility in Redondo. It reserved the area for future expansion,” he said.

But the chairman said that the SBMA is giving Hanjin an ample amount of time to commit to the reservation the company made because another locator in Subic Bay Freeport is interested in the 100-hectare land.

Garcia said the investor plans to construct an oil rig and steel fabrication facility in the area. “The maritime industry in Subic Bay Freeport is certainly on the rise and the SBMA will bank on the prowess of its port capabilities,” he also said.

Investor confidence in Subic Bay Freeport’s port capability is high as a top executive of the International Container Terminal Services, Inc (ICTSI) declared that this will become a major port in 10 years.

“We are pushing hard Subic as we are building up the market, and this takes a long time – at least 10 years. I think Subic will become a major port,” said ICTSI chair Enrique Razon during the company’s recent annual stockholders meeting.

READ:  PHL exports growth in September highest in Southeast Asia -- NEDA

With its consolidated cash operating expenses in 2012 increasing by 10 percent from $289 million in 2011 to $319 million, the company is confident that Subic Freeport will play a major role in the coming years. (Jonas Reyes, Manila Bulletin)