and there it sails........RP’s 1st container ship launched http://www.mb.com.ph/MAIN20080705129021.html
GMA christens ‘MV Argolikos’ at Subic rites
RP’s first big ship christened, launched at Subic
By JONAS REYES & GENALYN D. KABILING
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – "I name this vessel Argolikos, and may God bless this vessel and all who sail in it."
With these words, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo christened the first Philippine-made container vessel built by Korean shipbuilding giant Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp. Philippines (HHIC-Phil.) in this premier freeport yesterday.
President Arroyo led the naming ceremony for the MV Argolikos, named after the Argolic Gulf on the east coast of Peloponnese in Greece.
"Congratulations to Hanjin for this milestone achievement in shipbuilding," she said.
The President also congratulated the Dioryx Maritime Corporation for buying the first ship from Hanjin-Philippines, adding that this is just the first of six cargo ships that the company has ordered amounting to around half a billion dollars.
"Today, we see the first fruit of Hanjin’s investment in this shipyard and we are elated and proud. Hanjin is helping secure our country’s place as an attractive investment destination. It is a display of our countrymen’s skills and work ethic," Mrs. Arroyo said.
The President said the MV Argolikos, estimated at $ 60 million, is a "marvelous showcase of sound engineering and design" after it was completed six months ahead of schedule. The vessel is 258.9 meters long, 32 meters wide, 19 meters high, and sails at 24.6 knots.
She congratulated the Filipino workers who helped build the large container ship, saying Filipinos are now known as brilliant builders of sea vessels apart from being just first-rate seamen in the world.
"It brings pride to its creator. It brings pride to us as the host of its creation. The MV Argolikos shows off to the whole world the excellence of the Filipino workforce in building vessels sailing the seven seas," she added.
Despite complaints about the death of some workers, dislocation of communities, and degradation of environment in some parts of Zambales, the President praised Hanjin for its sustained investments in the country, including its planned shipyard operations in Mindanao.
Mrs. Arroyo recalled that Hanjin built its $ 1.7-billion shipyard in Subic in June, 2005, which gave "a massive boost" to the country’s bid to be the best value for investment in Asia.
"We are happy to hear that at the end of the day, Hanjin will have created at least 21,000 new jobs here," she said.
The President said she looks forward to the five other ships that will be built at the Hanjin shipyard.
She added that Hanjin’s presence at the ClarkSubic corridor has helped it become a competitive logistics hub in the region. The Clark-Subic corridor, located along the Luzon Urban Beltway, generates 55 percent of national economic production.
"The biggest challenge of this beltway is to remain competitive," she said, citing the development of the Subic-Clark expressway, Clark International Airport, and the Subic International Airport.
In the same ceremony, Hanjin donated R1.2 million to the victims of typhoon "Frank" that struck the Philippines two weeks ago.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Armand Arreza said that the launching of the biggest ship made in the Philippines is an indication that Subic Freeport is geared to becoming the country’s premier shipbuilding and ship repair area.
SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga said that after the christening, the 41,000-ton container vessel will be delivered to Dioryx Maritime Corp. Chairman Dimitri Papadimitriou.
Also on hand for the occasion were Korean Ambassador Jong Ki Hong and Greek Ambassador Georges Chrysostomos Nicolaidis.
The two ambassadors were welcomed at the Hanjin shipyard by HHIC-Phil Chairman Nam Ho Cho, HHIC-Phil President Jeong Sup Shim, Secretary Edgardo Pamintuan of the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development (SCAD), Zambales officials, and SBMA officials led by Salonga and Arreza.
The ship underwent the required sea trials on May 27-29, and "performed well beyond expectations," said Pyeong Jong Yu, head of HHIC-Phil’s Outside Business Department.
Yu also said that prior to the sea trial, the vessel had been issued an attestation from the Bureau Veritas, a vessel certification agency.
Hanjin has secured for the ship a Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate, a complete crew list, and a certificate of competency for the Korean crew from the Busan Regional Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Office, Yu added.
Salonga said the MV Argolikos made local maritime history when it was completed six months ahead of schedule after the keel was laid in September last year.
He added that while Cebu was ahead of Subic in shipbuilding, after its Japaneseowned shipyard in Balamban began building ships in 1994, the largest ships will be built in the Subic Bay Freeport.
"This is where big ships for export to other countries will be made," he said.
Salonga also said that the Argolikos is the first of six units of container vessels lined up for delivery to Dioryx starting 2009.
He added that HHIC-Phil is also eyeing the manufacture in Subic of some of the largest container ships in the world, with gross tonnage of more or less 100,000 tons.
President Arroyo ended her speech with "Kamsahamida!" which simply means thank you in Korean.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo leads the naming ceremony for the M/V Argolikos, the first ship to be built in the Subic Freeport Zone held Friday (July 4) at Green Beach, Redondo Peninsula, Sitio Agusahun, Brgy. Cawag, Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Behind the President in photo is Mr. Nam Ho Cho, chairman of HHIC. (Edwin Paril-OPS/NIB Photo)