Home » Maritime » Marina asking Japan to build prototype ship

THE Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) is seeking the help of Japanese shipbuilders and investors to get its prototype ship project going.Marina administrator Vicente Suazo Jr. said the agency would request second-hand shipbuilding equipment, training grants for Philippine naval architects and engineers and investment from the Japanese to invigorate the country’s waning shipbuilding industry.

"Japan is the ideal partner in this venture as their shipyards are considered the best in the world in terms of production, manpower and innovation," he added.Suazo said Marina will formalize its request with the assistance of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.Earlier, the regulatory agency urged local shipbuilders to pool their resources to design and construct the country’s first ever steel-hulled ship.

It also said that resource pooling played a key role in the success of shipbuilders in Europe and the United States. Marina added this ensures the making of a quality product that will also be cost efficient and globally competitive.The proponents of winning ship designs will be rewarded with tax incentives and be assisted by government in marketing and promoting their product, Suazo said.

The agency earlier released specifications of its prototype vessel to the 482 shipbuilders in the country and is now awaiting replies regarding possible modifications or upgrades.

The prototype ship must weigh around 500 gross tons and must have locally available spare parts. Marina said this would lessen the Philippines’ dependence on second-hand vessels coming from China, Japan and South Korea and the drain importation places on the country’s dollar reserves.

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