Australian shipbuilder completes $20 M expansion of Cebu facility

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

CEBU  , Philippines  —  Australian shipbuilder Austal has completed the $20 million expansion of its facility in Cebu for the assembly of more ships and larger vessels.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony for the new assembly bay held Wednesday, Austal chairman John Rothwell said the expansion shows the firm’s commitment to shipbuilding in the Philippines.

Austal’s $20 million expansion involved reclamation of an additional 20,000-square meter of waterfront land, as well as development of new hardstand and mooring facilities.

“Our Balamban Shipyard is a showpiece. Here, we bring together Austal’s most advanced maritime technologies and the outstanding capabilities of our Filipino colleagues. The opening of the new John Rothwell Assembly Bay allows us to further strengthen the order book of the Austal Philippines shipyard, ushering in more projects and employment to the local workforce,” Austal Philippines president Wayne Murray said.

Austal’s expansion increases its workforce to 900 employees from 500 to 600 workers previously.

Austal chose the Philippines for its expansion due to the country’s available workforce.

“The facility here is probably the largest of its kind in Asia and fitting for the workforce here,” Austal chief executive officer David Singleton said.

As Austal now has a license to construct naval vessels, the shipyard is ready to deliver major naval projects such as the Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Philippine Navy.

Earlier, Austal expressed interest to build six OPVs for the Philippine Navy, as part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ modernization program.

Since Austal started operating in the country in 2012, it has delivered 17 ships to 10 operators in nine countries globally.

Apart from the Philippines, Austal’s shipyard facilities are located in Australia, US and Vietnam.

In addition, it has service centers in Australia, Singapore and the Middle East.

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