Monday, July 10, 2006

Korean shipbuilder opens P40-M training center

By Bebot Sison Jr.
The Philippine Star

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co. (HHIC), which is building a shipyard in Zambales’ Redondo peninsula, recently opened what is considered the country’s most modern training center built at a cost of P40 million in Subic town.

"The training center is one of the many good things that are happening in the Subic Freeport in the past six months," Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) administrator and chief executive officer Armand Arreza told The STAR.

Hanjin will operate the country’s biggest shipyard with a committed investment of more than $1 billion, said Arreza, who assured HHIC-Phils. officials of the SBMA’s full support.

Aside from Arreza, other officials who graced the training center’s opening were TESDA Region 3 director Conrado Barres, Zambales Gov. Vicente Magsaysay, Olongapo City Vice Mayor Rolen Paulino, and HHIC-Phils. president Jeong Sip Shim and managing director Myung Goo Kwon.

Myung expressed his company’s gratitude to Subic Mayor Jeffrey Khonghun for hosting the construction of the HHIC-Phils. shipyard project in the municipality’s coastal area in the Redondo peninsula, and allowing the use of a multi-purpose building as a temporary training center.

Myung stressed that part of the success of the international shipbuilding industry is the pool of qualified and competent manpower.

"Equipped with the most modern training facilities and qualified Korean instructors, the training center will be the cornerstone in developing and honing the skills of the Filipino trainees. It will transform regular, ordinary workers into qualified, skilled workers eligible to work in our shipyard," he said.

The training center has three classrooms, 70 welding booths, one pipefitting room, four painting rooms and a large working area that could accommodate a maximum of 200 trainees and instructors.

It is also fully equipped with 80 carbon dioxide welding machines, two TIG welding machines, two gouging machines, 40 automatic and 80 manual cutting machines, one hydraulic shearing machine, a compressor, a forklift, 13 airless pumps, 60 air grinders and other modern machineries.

During the three-month training period, the 100 trainees, mostly from Zambales, Bataan and Olongapo City, will be taught the necessary skills to qualify for shipbuilding jobs.

Meanwhile, Magsaysay said the HHIC-Phils. shipyard, which is part of the 10-point economic agenda of President Arroyo, is expected to generate more than 30,000 direct and indirect jobs and "put the Philippines in the map of (the global) shipbuilding industry."

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