By Emmie V. Abadilla
Aboitiz Construction, Inc. (ACI) just finished expanding the shipbuilding facility of Austal Philippines in Balamban, Western Cebu to meet the demand surge for commercial and defense vessels, including the manufacture of large, high-speed aluminum passenger and vehicle passenger ferries.
ACI designed and built six assembly bays – Bays 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10, including the recently inaugurated John Rothwell Assembly Bay.
The John Rothwell Assembly Bay, which will accommodate large vessel projects for hull assembly, final outfitting and painting, measures 120 meters long, 43 meters wide and 41 meters tall.
“Through this project, we have proven our capability to provide quality design and build services that meet the standards of our international shipbuilder clients,” announced ACI President and COO Alberto A. Ignacio Jr.
“We do not only build, but our capability today includes designing and developing heavy industrial installations. With this, we also fulfill our brand promise of advancing business and communities where we helped our client to increase their production and at the same time, created the effect of generating hundreds of local jobs while stimulating the local economy,” he elaborated.
“Our Balamban shipyard is a showpiece and is probably the most modern of its kind here in Asia,” noted Austal President Wayne Murray.
“Here, we bring together Austal’s most advanced maritime technologies and the capabilities of our Filipino colleagues. We are happy about the work that we have done here together and we are looking forward to continuing this good working relationship in our future projects,” he explained.
Austal Philippines and Aboitiz Construction are also partnering in the production of new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV’s) proposed for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and have a signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the initiative.
Austal is currently bidding for the contract to design, construct and sustain a larger variant of the OPVs as part of the modernization program of the AFP.
The MOA provides that should Austal succeeds in the bid, and subject to the resolution of commercial terms, ACI will be tapped for the cutting and fabrication of steel hulls.
ACI, together with its international arm, Aboitiz Construction International, Inc., is the construction arm of Aboitiz and Co., with a 44-year track record in serving the needs of local and international customers in the power, mining, cement, shipbuilding, housing and manufacturing industries.