June 18, 2019 at 08:40 pm
Othel V. Campos
Austal Philippines, an Austalian shipbuilder based in Balamban Cebu province, will embark on a P1.04-billion expansion to strengthen its ability to build bigger and better types of marine vessels.
The expansion, set to be completed in July 2019, will enable Austal Philippines to manufacture larger sea vessels.
The expansion included a new 120-meter long, 43-meter wide and 41-meter high assembly bay, said Austal Philippines president Wayne Murray.
Already in use, the bay is designed to manage the construction of the largest high-speed aluminum ferry ever built in the Philippines—a 109-meter catamaran for Fjord Line of Norway.
“Now, with a license to construct naval vessels recently issued, the shipyard is ready to deliver major naval projects such as the offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the Philippines Navy,” Murray said during the opening of the Philippines Marine Expo Tuesday at the SMX Mall of Asia.
Austal earlier expressed interest to build six OPVs for the Philippine Navy as part of the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The vessels offered by Austal are a larger variant of the Cape-class boats used by the Royal Australian Navy and Australian Border Force.
Murray noted that the Cebu shipyard operates as the global center for commercial vessel design, development and construction of Australia-based shipbuilding company Austal.
The facility is strategically positioned to cater to future market demands for ferries, workboats, fast crew transfer boats, commercial vessels and military vessels.
Austal Philippines has successfully delivered 17 ships to 10 operators in nine countries around the world since it began its operations in February 2012.
The shipyard began with 30 employees and now boasts a workforce of over 900. Ninety eight percent of Austal Philippines’ workforce, from engineers, designers to their skilled laborers, are Filipinos.
With a skilled and experienced Filipino workforce, Austal Philippines has demonstrated an ability to deliver complex vessel projects on-time and on budget.