By Jonas Reyes
Subic Bay Freeport Zone – Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction – Philippines (HHIC-Phil., Inc.) unveiled yesterday the biggest container vessel in the world at its Redondo shipbuilding facility inside this premier Freeport.
According to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chair Atty. Wilma Eisma, this is the first-ever 20,600-TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) container vessel in the world, adding that it is proudly made here in Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
HHIC-Phil., Inc. embraced this unprecedented feat in a Completion Ceremony program of the Antoine De Saint Exupery held at the company’s 326-hectare Subic facility on January 25, 2018.
This historic event, a true yardstick for the emerging Philippine shipbuilding industry, was witnessed by former President and incumbent Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Eisma, Senator Richard Gordon, Zambales Governor Amor Deloso, Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda, Zambales 1st District Representative Jeffrey Khonghun, local government unit executives and senior officials from the leading banking institutions.
The vessel is considered as one of the biggest commercial ships in the world today as it measures 400 meters in length overall, 59 meters in width and 33 meters in depth. Highlighting its game changing role in the international shipping market, the mammoth container vessel could transport up to 20,950 units of 40 foot shipping container, which, when lined up, would reach 12.5 kilometers long. Its deck is as big as four football fields.
The newly built vessel is the first of three 20,600 TEU class Ultra Large Container ships(ULCS) to be delivered by HHIC-Phil., Inc. to French shipping magnate CMA CGM following the signing of the new building contract in April 2015.
“Indeed, the daunting task of building such a huge vessel brought out the best in HHIC-Phil., Inc. in terms of technology and innovation. Under the technical supervision of classification society Bureau Veritas, HHIC-Phil., Inc. successfully carried out the construction of the vessel and the ship was launched in August 2017, and it successfully underwent sea trials in December 2017 to the full satisfaction of its proud owner,” HHIC-Phil., President Gwang Suk Chung said.
He proudly added, “This newly built 20,600 TEU vessel proves, among others, the strength and capability of our Subic shipyard to manufacture in a timely manner mega ships of much higher quality tonnage that are now shaping the shipping landscape around the world.”
Recognizing the crucial role of the Philippine labor in the HHIC-Phil.,’s shipbuilding operations, the Chung said, “The dedication of our highly skilled Filipino workers towards excellence is the driving force behind whatever positive things we have achieved amid the global economic challenges.”
Having directly poured $2.3 billion worth of investments in the country, HHIC-Phil., Inc. shares the vision of every Filipino of a much better Philippines. Since its maiden ship delivery in 2009, HHIC-Phil., Inc. has exported a total of 113 ocean-going merchant ships worth more than $6 billion, catapulting the Philippines among the top five shipbuilding countries in the world.
“Working hand in hand with its business partners, HHIC-Phil., Inc. will continue to raise the bar of excellence by upgrading our capacity to meet, and always be cognizant of, the ever growing demands of the industry stakeholders for cost efficient, environment-friendly and technologically advanced vessels,” company further stated.
HHIC-Phil., Inc. is currently building a number of commercial ships of high grade specifications such as liquefied petroleum gas carriers and oil crude tankers besides ULCS. These newbuilding projects are expected to be completed and delivered the end of 2019.
Meanwhile, the HHIC-Phil., Inc. has recently expanded its business activity, with the inclusion of coast guard and combat vessels in its product portfolio. With the anticipated approval by the Department of Defense, this latest endeavor of HHIC-Phil., Inc. is expected to help boost the country’s maritime and defense capability in the future.
Tags: Antoine De Saint Exupery, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction, Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction-Philippines, Hanjin unveils world’s biggest container vessel made in Subic, HHIC-Phil. Inc., Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda, President Gwang Suk Chung, Senator Richard Gordon, Subic Bay Freeport, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Zambales 1st District Representative Jeffrey Khonghun, Zambales Governor Amor Deloso