Hanjin shipyard can become a major global port — Lopez
Posted 2 years ago
MANILA, Philippines — The 300-hectare shipyard of Hanjin Philippines may be taken over by several shipping companies that would transform it into a major global port, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a chance interview recently.
He said the shipyard could be a sprawling multipurpose mixed-use port facility that would be jointly operated by several players.
This, he said, is one of the proposals received by Hanjin creditors for the development of the shipyard after Hanjin Philippines declared bankruptcy early this year.
“It’s a good masterplan that has been proposed and it is targeted to be implemented this year,” Lopez said.
He declined to name the companies but hinted that these include foreign players.
Another source said creditors are in negotiations with an American and a Japanese company.
Officially, Hanjin has fully shut down just this month, ending the last of its remaining maintenance operations, sources said.
As of this writing, the creditors have not made any official announcement yet regarding the final plans for the shipyard.
Stars and Stripes, a news website that provides news and information to the US military, reported last month that the US Navy is looking to re-establish itself in the Philippines by using the Hanjin shipyard as a maintenance facility.
“The US Navy is exploring the viability of Subic Bay Hanjin Shipyard for use as a potential repair and maintenance facility,” Cmdr. Nate Christensen, the fleet deputy public affairs officer said, as quoted in the article.
“The strategic harbor’s importance has grown amid Chinese efforts to build military facilities on artificial islands and claim sovereignty over territory to the west in the South China Sea,” the article also said.
Ports tycoon Enrique Razon already said he wanted to vie for the shipyard and is now in talks with the creditor banks of Hanjin for the possibility of taking over the shipyard of the bankrupt shipping and construction giant.
In January, Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines, the Philippine subsidiary of South Korean shipping giant Hanjin, declared bankruptcy.
It filed for rehabilitation before an Olongapo City court, after being negatively affected by the global economic slowdown, which in turn impacted trade.
It has roughly P21 billion in debts to some of the country’s biggest banks including Sy-owned BDO, Ayala-led BPI, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., George Ty-owned Metrobank and Land Bank of the Philippines.