AsiaGreater ChinaShipyards

Cosco readies first overseas yard with Hanjin Subic bid

Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction-Philippines (HHIC-Phil) was officially put into receivership yesterday by the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court (RTC) to start a court-supervised rehabilitation program as five local banks brace for what could be the country’s worst ever loan breach.

The giant yard sought court rehabilitation last week, owing five Filipino banks a total of $412m, and reports claiming it owes twice as much to lenders in South Korea, where its parent is headquartered. A rehabilitation officer has now been appointed by the court.

HHIC-Phil, which is now operating with a skeletal staff, having laid off 7,000 employees last month, is likely to find out its fate within the next six weeks. A creditor’s hearing is due next month while two interested Chinese parties are set to visit the yard in the coming four weeks with a view to taking it over.

Splash understands Cosco Shipyard is one interested party and the other is believed to be a small, private Chinese yard. Cosco Shipyard officials were unavailable for comment when contacted by Splash today.

Under previous management a decade ago, Cosco came close to making a major logistics investment in the Philippines, to the south of the capital, Manila, in a deal that never saw the light of day.

Representatives for HHIC-Phil said in court proceedings yesterday that the yard, which still has 12 ships on its orderbook, had been hit by cancellations and heavy-tail contracts.

The huge yard in Subic Bay delivered its first ship in 2008 and is capable of building the largest ships afloat having delivered a 20,000 teu ship and a series of VLCCs in the past. At 300 ha in area space it is the largest shipyard in Southeast Asia.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


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