Hanjin Subic builds 1st Philippine-made LPG carrier (Business Mirror (Philippines))

Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction-Philippines Ltd. (HHIC-Phil) announced on Tuesday it has recently built the first locally made carrier of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) at its Redondo Peninsula facility in this free port.

Christened MV Kaprijke in ceremonies here last week, the vessel is classified as a 38,405-cubic-meter tanker with a length of 180 meters, width of 29.4 meters and depth of 18 meters. Kaprijke, which was named after a municipality in the Belgian province of East Flanders, was ordered by the Belgian shipping company Exmar Shipping BVBA. Exmar is owned by the Saverys family, which controls the CMB group, as well as Bocimar, Delphis, ASL Aviation and Euronav.

The christening ceremony was attended by members of the Saverys family, Exmar executives, and top Hanjin officials and shipping company executives.

According to HHIC-Phil President Jeong Sup Shim, the delivery of Kaprijke marks another milestone in the history of Hanjin in Subic, as the ship was the first LPG carrier built in the Philippines.

Shim said they started construction of the carrier in June last year and launched the vessel in April.

The unprecedented event has once again affirmed the world-class craftsmanship of Filipino workers in the global shipbuilding industry, Shim was quoted in a statement as saying. Unlike liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, which are designed to carry liquefied natural gas like methane, LPG carriers are designed to carry mainly butane, propane, butadiene, propylene and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). The ship could also carry anhydrous ammonia.

Experts say that because of the demand for insulation for the extremely low cargo temperatures maintained at these highly specialized vessels, a very high standard of workmanship is required for building LPG and LNG carriers.

Despite stringent requirements, Shim said that Hanjin-Subic has been successful in building huge commercial vessels, ranging from container ships to bulk carriers, crude-oil tankers and offshore structures mainly for overseas clients, since 2008. Shim added that the company still has seven LPG carriers in its order book to be delivered to Exmar. According to Exmar’s web site, three of these are scheduled for delivery next year, three in 2017, and the last one in early 2018.

Hanjin also likened the LPG construction to its feat in 2012, when it inaugurated two Suezmax crude-oil tankers, the first such vessels to be made on Philippine shore.

Hanjin officials said that with its competitive advantage in terms of highly skilled work force, latest technology and physical assets at its $1.7-billion shipyard here, HHIC-Phil can easily accommodate immediate construction of ultra-large vessels, including container ships with capacity ranging from 11,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) to 20,600 TEUs.

As of August 2015, HHIC-Phil has already delivered a total of 82 ships, as well as five offshore projects.

Shim said the company is looking forward to more deliveries to help propel Philippine economic growth.

It is our company’s earnest desire and long-term commitment to catapult the Philippines as the No. 1 shipbuilding country in the world, Shim added, citing a June report by Clarksons Research. That report said the Philippines is currently ranked fourth in the world in terms of order book by builder country with 2.1 gross compensated tonnage (CGT) for new vessel.

The same report cited the Hanjin-Subic shipyard as the 10th-largest shipyard in the world in terms of order book by shipyard, accounting for 1.8 GCT or 74 percent of the Philippines’s CGT for new vessels.