300 workers get jobs at shipyard

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

AUSTAL Philippines Shipyard has provided jobs to at least 300 workers and expects to generate an estimated US$70 million in export income.

President Benigno Aquino III led the unveiling of the shipyard in Barangay Arpili, Balamban, Cebu yesterday.

Joey Turano, president and general manager of Austal Philippines, said their operations will provide substantial benefits to the Cebu community and the shipbuilding industry.


“This is something we, as individuals and as a nation, can all be proud of,” Turano said.

He said Austal Philippines recently completed its first ship, trimaran designed for the European wind farm market.

“Our next ship, which is well underway, is a car and passenger ferry, which we believe will be the largest ferry ever built in the Philippines. Another three wind farm vessels will follow it, ensuring work for the shipyard until at least the end of the year,” Turano said.

Turano said that they have three shipbuilding facilities in the world located in the United States (US), Australia and the Philippines.

Commercial vessels

The shipyard in the Philippines will focus on building commercial vessels, while those in the US and Australia will be building military vessels.

According to Turano, they started operations in February 2012 at the West Industrial Park of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority in Balamban, and they finished one ship that will be delivered to a customer abroad by the end of the month.

The vessel is a 35-meter high speed passenger ferry, which was ordered by Mary D. Enterprises in New Caledonia; another project is a 41-meter catamaran passenger ferry, which was ordered by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago; a 65-meter catamaran Ro-Pax fast ferry ordered by the Sultan of Oman; and a 50-meter live-aboard dive cruise vessel ordered by the North Star Cruise of Australia.

Turano added that the work that takes place in Cebu will continue to enable Austal to meet the needs of the international commercial vessel market, hopefully with larger projects.

He said that while it is exciting that people all over the world will get to experience state-of-the-art ships built by Filipinos, Austal also looks forward to the local staff building and supporting more ships that will be used by Filipinos.

“We see potential not only in the commercial vessel market for which we are currently licensed, but also for government customers such as the Navy and Coast Guard. I hope His Excellency (Aquino) would agree that it would be a very proud day for the Philippines to have modern, locally-produced ships that are as good as those anywhere in the world effectively protecting our shores; ferrying our people in safety and comfort; and transporting our cargo reliably and efficiently,” Turano said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 17, 2013.

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