No fallout yet from Hanjin troubles, says SBMA
The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has eased job concerns of workers at the Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction-Philippines (HHIC-Phil), noting that the Subic freeport-based shipbuilder remained unaffected by problems besetting Hanjin Shipping Corp. in South Korea.
“I think that the Hanjin workers in Subic have nothing to worry about because the financial woes affecting Hanjin Shipping has no impact on Subic. They can rest assured that the Hanjin company in Subic is a separate entity and the one here is very stable,” SBMA chair Roberto Garcia said in a statement.
Garcia added that the shipbuilding firm Hanjin in Subic Freeport and the bankrupt company Hanjin Shipping were two separate entities.
“HHIC-Phil is not related to Hanjin Shipping, so there is no need to worry,” he said, pointing out that the Subic shipbuilder separated from the Hanjin Group in 2005.
HHIC-Phil, in fact, continued to receive orders for ultra large container vessels (ULCVs), proof that the local shipbuilding firm remained financially healthy and stable.
“Despite what is happening in the shipping industry, orders for container ships are still coming,” HHIC-Phil managing director for External Trade Yoo Hoan Jo was quoted as saying.
The new orders will include vessels that will have the capacity to carry 20,600 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containers in one hauling. These new projects “would likely mean additional workers for the completion of these three ULCVs,” he added.
Currently, the Subic shipbuilder has 35,000 direct and indirect employees working on various operations at HHIC-Phil’s Subic facility, which has helped Hanjin deliver 91 vessels since it started full operation at the Redondo Peninsula in 2008.
In 2015 alone, the company delivered 16 vessels and has already received numerous orders this year, including the three ULCVs.
The SBMA issued the statement following inquiries from workers at HHIC-Phil’s Redondo Peninsula shipyard, after Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd., reputedly the world’s seventh largest shipping line, filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States last week.
The Korean shipping line was reportedly left bankrupt when creditor-banks rejected its debt restructuring plan.
Recently, the parent Hanjin Group announced it would pour in $90 million to bail out the shipping line.
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