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Aboitiz, Austal ink partnership on bid to build Navy boats

From left, Austal chief executive officer David Singleton, Aboitiz Construction first vice president 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 vice president for operations Alex Garciano, and Austal chairman John Rothwell. (Contributed Photo)

Shipbuilder Austal Philippines Pty Ltd will tap Aboitiz Construction, Inc. as a subcontractor if it is awarded the contract to build six offshore patrol vessels (OPV) for the Philippine Navy.

Officials of Austal Philippines and Aboitiz Construction have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) establishing a partnership and affirming Austal’s confidence in Aboitiz.

This partnership is seen to strengthen Austal’s bid to design and build OPVs for the Navy, the construction company said in a statement, given its track record in fabrication and steelworks combined with Australian marine technology from Austal and world-class Filipino workmanship.

If Austal gets the contract, Aboitiz will undertake the cutting and fabrication of the OPV steel hulls.

The agreement was signed during the opening ceremony on July 24, 2019 of the John Rothwell Assembly Bay, one of six assembly bays that Aboitiz Construction had built for Austal at the latter’s 12-hectare facility in Balamban town in west Cebu.

Related Story: Austal expands Balamban shipyard, bids to build Navy boats

Wayne Murray, president of Austal Philippines, said in the same statement that he was 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,” he said.

“We believe that we can pursue the bid with Aboitiz Construction as our preferred local contractor for this endeavor,” he added.

Alberto A. Ignacio, Jr., Aboitiz Construction president and COO, assured Austal Philippines of the company’s strong support, citing its many years of experience 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,” Ignacio said.

“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,” he added.

Aboitiz Construction, construction arm of the Aboitiz Group of Companies, operates a fabrication shop beside the Austal shipyard within the West Cebu Industrial Park in Balamban.

It had designed, developed, and constructed six assembly bays for Austal, including the John Rothwell Assembly Bay, a huge structure measuring 120 meters long, 43 meters wide, and 41 meters tall.

These brought to 10 the total number of assembly bays at the Austal facility.

The expanded facility is intended to meet the growing demand for commercial and defense vessels including the manufacture of large, high-speed aluminum passenger and vehicle passenger ferries. (Ventures Cebu)

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