Australian shipbuilder partners with Aboitiz Construction to build naval vessels

CEBU. (From left) Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton, Aboitiz Construction FVP for Operations Jonathan Bendebel, Austal Philippines President Wayne Murray, Aboitiz Construction President and COO Alberto Ignacio Jr., Austal Chief Operating Officer Patrick Gregg, Aboitiz Construction VP for Operations Alex Garciano, and Austal Chairman John Rothwell. (Contributed photo)

CEBU -- Aboitiz Construction Inc. signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Austal Philippines Pty Ltd, establishing a partnership to bolster the latter’s bid with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to build six new offshore patrol vessels (OPV).

The MOA affirms Austal Philippines’ continued confidence in Aboitiz Construction after it successfully designed, developed, and constructed six assembly bays in Austal’s expanded shipbuilding facility in Balamban, Cebu. The newly expanded assembly bays will allow OPVs to be constructed right here in the country.

In the MOA, Austal has identified Aboitiz Construction as the potential local subcontractor in the event that it succeeds in its bid. Aboitiz Construction offers a competitive advantage because it operates a fabrication shop beside the Austal shipyard within the Balamban economic zone in West Cebu.

Potentially, Aboitiz Construction will undertake the cutting and fabrication of the OPV steel hulls. The tapping of a Filipino contractor that has a proven track record in fabrication and steelworks like Aboitiz Construction is seen to strengthen Austal’s bid, which combines Australian marine technology and world-class Filipino workmanship.

Wayne Murray, president of Austal Philippines, is optimistic about the collaboration with Aboitiz Construction.

“Since 2011, Austal Philippines has become an integral partner of the global Austal Group in building revolutionary high-speed ships for governments, navies, and ferry and offshore operators around the world and we can contribute our expertise to help modernize the naval fleet of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. We believe that we can pursue the bid with Aboitiz Construction as our preferred local contractor for this endeavor,” Murray said.

Alberto A. Ignacio Jr., Aboitiz Construction president and COO, assured Austal Philippines of its strong support in this collaboration, citing the many years of experience of the company in fabricating hulls and other steelwork for clients in Japan, USA, and Canada.

“Our record of repeat international orders throughout these years will show the quality and competitiveness of our fabrication services. We are equally optimistic about this partnership as we further demonstrate our growing capability as a trusted local contractor for international customers, further enhancing our brand promise to advance business and communities,” Ignacio said. (PR)


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