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Filipino firm invests P259M for shipyard in Navotas

Filipino-owned Nautilus Shipyard Repair Inc. is investing P259 million for the establishment and operation of a shipyard in Navotas City in Metro Manila.

The shipyard will have a capacity of 96 vessels a year and will begin commercial operation in June next year.

It will be the fourth shipyard in the country. South Korea’s Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp., Japan’s Tsuneishi Holdings Corp.  and Singapore’s Keppel have existing shipbuilding facilities in the country.

The Board of Investments (BOI) approved the grant of incentives such as income-tax holidays and duty-free importation of capital equipment to the proposed shipyard of Nautilus.

“When operational, it will use standard marine travel lift equipment designed for vessels up to 45 feet wide and with capacity of 600 tons. It will also have minimum berthing capacity of 7,500 DWT [dead weight tons],” the BOI said.

According to the board, global demand for marine vessels and ships rose to $106 billion in 2010, the reason shipbuilding and ship repair is one of the industries being aggressively promoted by the government.

Shipbuilding is included in the Philippines’s 2012 Investment Priorities Plan, an annual list of sectors that are eligible for government incentives.

The Philippines is recognized as the fourth largest shipbuilder in the world and more shipyards in the country are building more ships of higher tons such as bulk carriers, container ships and passenger ferries.

Investments in shipbuilding facilities are seen to benefit the food manufacturing, tourism, transportation, oil and steel industries.

According to the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), the Philippine shipbuilding industry employs about 39,000 workers, 70 percent of whom belong to the skilled and semi-skilled category.

Meanwhile, Tesda has laid out a manpower development plan for the shipbuilding sector and has trained 95,000 welders.

As of 2010, more than 50,000 engineers and architects are also employed by the industry.

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