Shipyards in the Philippines thrive in two market components. The first market covers the demand for commercial ships for the international market. Most shipbuilding companies produce bulk carriers, containerships and tanker, and are mainly exported to countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Liberia and French Polynesia1 In 2020, the Philippines has delivered bulk carriers, oil tanker and container ships, with a total of 608 thousand gross tons.2 The second component covers the demand for smaller vessels, serving the needs of the local market and are usually designed for fishing, government, and passenger or cargo use. Most locally owned shipyards are mainly involved in the retrofitting and maintenance of ships, accounting for 90% of domestic shipyard revenue. Based on the 2017 report of DTI, there are approximately 17 large- or medium-sized domestic shipyards, 90+ smaller-sized yards, as well as service and afloat contractors.3
In Cebu, the shipbuilding industry is mostly concentrated in Balamban Cebu, specifically the West Cebu Industrial Park. The 540-ha mixed used development has allocated an exclusive 283-ha for an economic zone listed under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and is identified as the Shipbuilding Capital of the Philippines. The West Cebu Industrial Park serves as a home to two of the major foreign-owned shipyard firms across the Philippines, namely Tsuneishi Heavy Industries and Austal Philippines.
One of the largest exporters is Tsuneishi Heavy Industries (Cebu), Inc. The company was established in 1994 under a joint venture between the Aboitiz Group and the Japanese firm, Tsuneishi Group from Hiroshima, Japan. The Japan-based group is primarily involved with shipbuilding, ship repair and manufacturing of outfitting for ships and vessels, and exports medium sized vessels to different parts of the world. The firm sits on a 147-hectare land area consisting of a Slipway No. 1, Slipway No. 2, a building dock, a warehouse, an assembly factory, a hatch cover factory, a pipe factory, and other support facilities including paint shop, machine shop, floating cranes, training center among others.
The shipyard can produce a variety of ocean-going cargo vessels, majority of which are various sizes of bulk carriers, including some container carriers and pure car and truck carriers. To ensure superior delivery of products and services, the company follows an end-to-end comprehensive process starting from ship design, going to production and even until delivering the vesselThe firm is complemented with the services and expertise of Tsuneishi Technical Services (Phils.) Inc., in terms of providing technical support, and detail engineering designs for ships built within the Tsuneishi Group.
The extensive knowledge and expertise of Tsuneishi has been recognized by international certification bodies and serve as a reflection of the firm’s unwavering commitment in upholding highest quality standards, while sustaining a convergence of Japanese and Filipino work culture. As of April 2021, the firm has produced and delivered its 300th ship withstanding the challenges and hurdles imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic
1 UNCTAD (2021) Review of Maritime Transport https://unctad.org/system/files/official-document/rmt2021_en_0.pdf
3 DTI Policy Brief Series No. 2017-08. Philippines in Shipbuilding Global Value Chain