Marcos touts shipbuilding ‘fresh start’ as Hyundai Heavy invests in Subic

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. said he is optimistic the Philippines will boost its position in shipbuilding and achieve its renewable energy goals, after South Korea’s HD Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. and Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. announced a new venture at the Subic economic zone.

“We welcome Hyundai Heavy’s investment that will not only open new doors for our offshore wind industry, but will also bring maritime manufacturing back to Subic and eventually restore the glory days of shipbuilding to our shores,” he said at the partnership launch event hosted by the Palace.

“Not only would it generate thousands of jobs, but also enable the transfer of critical skills and improve the Philippines’ position in the global market.”

Under the partnership, Hyundai Heavy will lease a drydock at Agila Subic, a multi-use facility that acquired by Cerberus in April 2022.

Hyundai Heavy will use the facility for construction focused initially on offshore wind projects.

“Hyundai Heavy’s initial focus on the development of offshore wind platforms (bodes) well for our goal to transition to renewable energy,” Mr. Marcos said.

He added that the Philippines looks forward to the opportunity to usher in an “era of shipbuilding” with Hyundai Heavy’s entry.

The Philippines was the seventh-largest shipbuilder in the world in 2022, building nearly 400,000 gross tons of newly built seagoing vessels.

“This is a far cry from our capacity in the past, and even far behind the output of shipbuilding leaders like South Korea and Japan,” he said.

“With this initiative of Cerberus and Hyundai Heavy, we will have a fresh start and a strong foundation in realizing our vision to be amongst the largest and most consequential shipbuilders in the world,” he added.

He said Cerberus will also be involved in developing Philippine microelectronics, semiconductors, and critical metals.

He said Cerberus has also helped attract other locators including Sancom, the world’s leading subsea cable company, and V2X, Inc., a global logistics corporation.

“And you have worked closely with our Philippine Navy while establishing a world-class operating base for our Navy,” he added.

“The investments that will be created hereafter are especially beneficial to Subic because these will strengthen the Freeport area’s vital role as a hotspot for industrial, commercial, and other economic activities.”

Mr. Marcos, meanwhile, said he also hopes that the investment plans will also help in the “upskilling and reskilling of the Filipino workforce” in adapting to new technologies required by industry.

“We encourage Hyundai Heavy to partner with our Commission on Higher Education and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, or TESDA, in finding projects for the development of our very talented workforce,” he said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza