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Keppel expands Cebu shipyard operation

Keppel expands Cebu shipyard operation

Manila: The Board of Investments (BOI) has approved the P589.927 million project of Keppel Singmarine Philippines Inc. (KSPI) for the production of tugboats and offshore support vessels for exports.

Based on its registration with the BOI, KSPI said the new project is in line with Keppel Group's Near Market, Near Customer strategy and its support for the Philippine shipbuilding industry.

The new investment would be used to purchase new equipment and facilities, building and leasehold improvement and working capital for the assembly of eight vessels per year at its existing shipyard in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu where it offers shipbuilding services globally.

The assembled vessels include harbor tugboats and offshore support vessels such as anchor handling tug and supply vessels and anchor handling tug.

KSPI claims to be the first to build these types of vessel in the country.

Initially, the company will be servicing KSPI's existing customers like Gulfmark Offshore (US), Lamnalco, Whitesea Shipping (United Arab Emirates), Svitzerwijsmuller (Denmark), Kooren Tug, SMT (Netherlands), Naseeb Maritime (Kuwait), Bourban Offshore (France), Keppel Smit Towage, and Maju Maritime (Singapore).

The new facilities would increase Keppel Shipyard's manpower to 620 when it starts commercial operation next month and improve its level of competencies.

Additionally, it will upgrade and repair the existing equipment in the shipyard as the new operations would involve planning and design, hull construction, machinery and equipment installation, outfitting, dock-and-sea trial and actual delivery.

Its Singapore-based parent firm will also provide the technical training to prospective employees, many of whom come from Lapu-Lapu City and surrounding municipalities.

The company also offers training to interested out-of-school youth in such areas as welding, ship-fitting, scaffolding, mechanical outfitting, among others at selected TESDA-accredited training centers. [3/11/08]