Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Wilma T. Eisma said in a briefing on Tuesday that discussions are at 99.99% and that it is hoped to announce the re-opening of the yard before the end of the year, local press reported.
The potential white knight for the facility is an unnamed North American company. “I want to make it clear that the white knight is not from Asia. It comes from North America,” Eisma said.
“Part of the facility will still continue to be a shipyard and ship repair facility,” she said, while parts of the site could be used for other businesses.
The HHIC yard opened in 2006 and transformed the Philippines into the world’s fourth largest shipbuilding nation, however, it ran into financial difficulties and filed for debt rehabilitation at the start of 2019.
It has previously attracted interest from Chinese shipyards as well at Austal in Australia.
Manila-headquartered port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) proposed to turn the 300 hectare site into several multipurpose facilities including ports, power and steel, rather than shipbuilding.
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