Home » Ports/Terminals » 2 Cebu shipyards not re-opening anytime soon

OPERATIONS of Cebu-based shipyards FBMA Marine, Inc and Keppel Cebu Shipyard, Inc remain shut due to slow demand for new ships.

Aboitiz Equity Ventures chairman Jon Ramon Aboitiz recently said FBMA, which is part of the Aboitiz Group’s shipbuilding concerns, has not received new orders for a year now. All workers have been absorbed by Tsuneishi Heavy Industries (Cebu), Inc, a joint venture between the Aboitiz Group and the Tsuneishi Group of Japan.

FBMA Marine built steel and aluminum vessels and high-speed boats. The last two high-speed catamarans built by FBMA were delivered to Wightlink in Britain.

Tsuneishi, on the other hand, has seen growth and is now able to build ships up to 180,000 deadweight tons, said Aboitiz.

Meanwhile, Keppel Cebu is not reopening its plans just yet. Harsh economic conditions shut down the facility in the second quarter of last year.

Keppel repaired 10 vessels — six local and four foreign — during the first half of 2009.

At least 279 regular employees were displaced, most of them welders, machine operators, painters and carpenters.

The company’s mother firm, Keppel Philippines Marine Inc reported a 15.99% drop in revenues to P495.7 million for the first quarter of the year vis-à-vis the same period last year due to the Cebu plant shutdown.

Apart from Keppel Cebu, Keppel Philippines Marine owns Keppel Batangas Shipyard, Inc.

Fabrication activities carried out by Keppel Batangas also dropped, with only one project compared with three in the first quarter of last year.

For the full year 2009, Keppel Batangas repaired a total of 114 vessels (70 local and 44 foreign) from 89 in 2008.

Keppel’s 2010 outlook appears brighter with repair works expected from the domestic market in the second quarter.

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