Construction company JM McGregor Haggens, Inc. is embarking next year on a multi-billion peso project to transform Bislig City in Surigao del Sur into the next global destination port in Asia.
To be called The Maritime City, the hub will be built in Bislig City, which has a strategic location “considering that the South China Sea passage is being contested by different countries in the region,” said JM McGregor chairman and chief executive officer Jonathan Sanchez in a press briefing televised on September 25.
The hub will be a Freeport that will welcome ships from all flag states and offer a shorter transit for vessels coming from Australia and going to Japan, Korea, China, the United States, and vice versa. It will also offer other kinds of services such as bunkering and ship repair, said Sanchez.
Sanchez, who was formerly a seafarer and hails from Bislig City, said his vision is to see The Maritime City become the “busiest shipping route next to Singapore” within 10 years after its construction.
The hub will consist of at least 15 projects, including an oil refinery, oil depot, shipyard, container port, cold storage, food processing plant, power plant, water treatment facility, hospital, hotel, integrated market, convention center, and a government center.
The project has been approved by the local government of Bislig City. It is scheduled to start early next year and will be done in phases, starting with the simultaneous construction of the shipyard, container port, oil depot, hotel, and hospital.
During the press briefing, JM McGregor said the project will be funded by Aria Indonesia-Aria Asset Management of Luxembourg and nine other entities from different countries.
JM McGregor specializes in constructions for the maritime industry and has been in the business for 18 years. It also established the John McGregor Marineworld Training Center in Pandacan, Manila.
(Story updated on Sept 27, 3pm, to identify project funder.)