Home » Maritime, Ports/Terminals » ICTSI in talks with banks for acquisition of Hanjin shipyard

International Container Terminal Services, Inc. is interested in acquiring Hanjin shipyard in Subic but for use not as a shipyard.  Photo from www.hhic-phil.com.

International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) is eyeing a take-over of the Subic facility of bankrupt shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction-Philippines, Inc. (HHIC-Phil).

“We’re developing a master plan for Hanjin which we can’t really talk about too much,” ICTSI chairman Enrique Razon, Jr. told media on the sidelines of ICTSI’s recent annual stockholders’ meeting. The plan does not include shipbuilding.

“The Philippines is not really competitive in this area. Nothing that the shipyard uses is made in the Philippines, unlike Japan, China and Korea. They make the steel, the machinery, all of that,” he said.

Razon last February said he saw potential in developing the 300-hectare Subic facility placed under rehabilitation by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Olongapo City.

The shipbuilder on January 8 filed a petition with the RTC for voluntary rehabilitation under Republic Act No. 10142, or An Act Providing for the Rehabilitation or Liquidation of Financially Distressed Enterprises and Individuals, citing financial obligations to Philippine and Korean lenders.

HHIC-Phil owes Philippine banks US$412 million (P21.5 billion) in outstanding loans, on top of another $900 million in debt to lenders in South Korea.

Razon said ICTSI is “still making presentations to the banks” as “the banks own [Hanjin] now.”

ICTSI global corporate head Christian R. Gonzalez, in a separate interview during the same event, said the group has not made a formal pitch.

“It’s still a concept,” he said, adding that ICTSI has not “put up any financials or anything specific.”

He noted, however that the plan will be “definitely industrial and definitely multiple parties.” Asked if the facility could be a maritime hub, he said it “could be.”

But he observed that the facility “would not be suitable for a container terminal at this point in time simply because the road access is not there.”

He added: “Why would someone drive an extra 50 to 60 kilometers when they can just go to Subic?”

ICTSI, through subsidiary Subic Bay International Terminal Corp., operates New Container Terminals 1 and 2 in Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Aside from ICTSI, Netherlands-based shipbuilding company Damen Shipyards Group last March said it was also looking at investing in the Subic facility.

The Maritime Industry Authority last January said “the state-of-the-art facilities of HHIC-Phil may be considered as an option for the establishment of an eco-industrial maritime park for the clustering and consolidation of all maritime-related services.” – Roumina Pablo

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