Australian shipbuilding company Austal has announced it is investing $30 million to expand its operations in the Philippines, as it looks to bid to supply ships for the Philippine Navy.
The move comes as Austal eyes off a deal to deliver six offshore patrol vessels (OPV) for the Philippines, and would see the employee base for the company to grow by more than 10 per cent.
“If we win this contract (with the Philippine Navy), we’d certainly be looking at … maybe another 100-200 (workers) to help build the new ships,” Austal marketing manager Paul Sparke said.
“We’re going through a process at the moment. We’re expecting that they’ll be putting out a request for tender later this year. At the moment, they’ve put out a request for information, so we’re talking to the Navy about what they would like, and we’ve forwarded our design for the Philippine Navy."
The decision to award the contract to Austal seems like a foregone conclusion, however, with Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana highlighting the benefits of hiring the Australian company to deliver the vessels.
“First, they [Austal] make good ships. Second, the company is in Balamban, Cebu and employs Filipino workers,” Hesaid.
“Hindi ko alam [I don’t know how much the units will cost]. We’ll have to see the price comparison. But as I said, the great advantage of Austal is that it is in the Philippines bringing jobs and other economic benefits."
Austal confirmed that the $30 million boost would also help to prepare land and construct new buildings in their shipyard in Balamban, Cebu.