Chinese company YiDingTai (YDT) International, an affiliate of Dalian Wanyang Heavy Industries, has recently expressed its intent to establish and operate a new shipyard in the Philippines within the next five years.
The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry, through its Board of Investments (BOI) subordinate agency, announced this latest development during a briefing with the local press on Friday, March 3, 2017.
The BOI also stated YDT is presently conducting a study with an as-yet-undisclosed local private partner to determine the feasibility of investing up to US$1.5 billion in a shipbuilding and ship repair facility in the country.
The project's ultimate aim is to provide the domestic shipping market with new-build Ro-Ro vessels each not exceeding 15,000DWT. This comes in the wake of the Philippine government's recent calls for a more modern Ro-Ro fleet as one of the contributors of economic growth through increased inter-island trade and tourism.
A significant number of Ro-Ro ships currently in operation in the Philippines are second-hand vessels imported from abroad. Some are over 30 years old, which has raised concerns about ship integrity and passenger safety.
Although there is no word yet on the chosen location, YDT hopes that their shipyard will be completed by 2022 and will generate at least 2,000 jobs in the process.
Nelson E. Dela Cruz