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SBMA bares 2022 port projects, potential shipyard foreign investor

  • Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority may welcome a foreign investor to take over the shipyard facility vacated by Hanjin Heavy Industries
  • In 2022, SBMA will spend P8.65 billion to redevelop Alava wharf and P333 million to repair Boton port
  • The P270-million vessel traffic monitoring system contract may be awarded by December 2021
  • SBMA hopes to sign soon the agreement on the proposed cold examination facility area for Subic port with the Department of Agriculture

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has lined up several port-related projects in 2022 and is in the final stages of accommodating a foreign company that will take over the shipyard facility vacated by Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction-Philippines, Inc.

SBMA senior deputy administrator for operations Ronnie Yambao, in a recent webinar hosted by Subic Bay International Terminal Corp., said they hope to finalize proceedings of the shipyard agreement in the first or second quarter of next year.

The new investor will be involved in shipbuilding, ship repair, and logistics-related businesses, taking over the area once occupied by Hanjin Heavy Industries, Subic’s biggest locator before it went bankrupt in 2019.

READ: Wanted: Investors for debt-saddled Hanjin shipbuilder

SBMA also eyes operation of the vessel traffic monitoring system (VTMS) by the third or fourth quarter of next year. Yambao said procurement is ongoing, and contract awarding for the P270-million project could take place by December.

Subic’s VTMS is envisioned to be the latest and most technologically advanced in the country and is seen to increase overall safety and efficiency of SBMA’s port operations.

Yambao noted Subic port’s current radar coverage has deficiencies or dead spots while the new VTMS will be able to cover all areas in Subic Bay.

The project will provide an advanced and integrated port management system that will automate the end-to-end process for vessel entry, operations, and exit procedures in compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic.

Also in the pipeline is the redevelopment of Alava Wharf for cruise ships calling Subic. The P8.65-billion wharf project involves reclaiming the pier, constructing a cruise ship passenger terminal and setting up transit sheds for bulk and breakbulk cargoes. The plan is to extend the quay length to 850 meters with a width of 130 meters and a total area of 11 hectares.

Yambao said they recently had discussions with the National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee and is exploring a joint venture or a public-private partnership for the project.

Next year, SBMA will spend P333 million for the repair of Boton port’s apron and road network targeted for August to November 2022.

Another project SBMA hopes to “nurture in the next two to three years,” Yambao said, is more ship-to-ship (STS) transfer operations, which the authority ran from 2011 to 2013.

Yambao said this is a niche market for Subic port, and they are already talking to a proponent that may start STS operations in the next four weeks.

Meanwhile, 21 navigational buoys have already been installed.

For completion this month is the P82-million NSD road network project Phase 2, which includes seven fully completed components: Main Road 2, and Service Roads 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Both main road and the access road to the Marine Terminal are 99.5% complete.

Cold examination facility area

Further, SBMA hopes to sign this month or early next month the agreement with the Department of Agriculture (DA) on the proposed cold examination facility area (CEFA) for Subic port.

READ: PH’s first cold exam facility for agri, fishery imports eyed in Subic

SBMA and DA last June agreed in principle to establish the country’s first CEFA at Subic. It will be the first of five planned “first border control facilities” of DA. The setup of these facilities is part of DA’s target to conduct 100% inspection of imported farm, fishery, and meat products to ensure their quality, determine and confiscate misdeclared shipments, and prevent the entry of transboundary pests and diseases.

DA proposes to use a 2,000-square-meter lot at the freeport zone for 25 years, renewable upon mutual agreement, for the CEFA. Dar said SBFZ is an ideal location because it is well-connected to the main Metro Manila highways.

Once operational, the Subic CEFA will be able to conduct full inspection of containerized agricultural commodities, complemented by Bureau of Customs x-ray scanning.

Yambao said the proposed CEFA will be located just 150 meters from the gate of the container terminal. – Roumina Pablo

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