Tsuneishi Heavy Industries Cebu Inc. (THICI)
Tsuneishi Heavy Industries Cebu Inc. (THICI) is based at the West Cebu Industrial Park (WCIP) in Balamban, Cebu. The Tsuneishi Cebu, a partner of Tsuneishi Group of Japan and the Aboitiz Group has the capability of building ships of up to 80,000 DWT. Tsuneishi Heavy Industries (Cebu), Inc. is the biggest investment by the Tsuneishi Group outside Japan with a total investment of P17.5 billion. The company was established in 1994 and its main facilities are located in a 147 hectare land in Barangay Buanoy, Balamban Cebu. By late 2010 11,700 workers were employed at the shipyard.
Balamban is a western coast town in Cebu that faces Oriental Negros and a two-hour pleasant drive from Cebu City via the trans central highway, this town is the home base of a world-class ship building facility of the Aboitizes-the fast craft manufacturing company of the FBMA Marine Inc., and the bulk-building Tsuneishi Heavy Industries-Cebu, a joint venture between the Aboitiz group of companies and the Tsuneishi group of Japan and another Aboitiz owned company, Metaphil.
All these companies are located in the West Cebu Industrial Park (WCIP), an economic-industrial zone established in Balamban sometime in 1996. According to Mayor Binghay, Balamban could still accommodate medium to heavy industries inside the WCIP, a special economic zone that grants incentives to new locators and pioneering ventures such as metal fabrication for industrial purposes, production of construction materials, cement manufacturing, Agro-processing, assembly of machinery or consumer products, power generation and the like.
By 2007 it had already built more than 46 bulk ship carriers in Balamban. Bulk carriers are ships that carry heavy materials such as copper, gold, coal, iron and cement. Tsuneishi and Metaphil are locators of the West Cebu Industrial Park in Balamban. Tsunesihi started its operation in 1994 and it hopes to be among the top 3 shipbuilding companies in the world by 2010. Aboitiz said in 2007 they were mulling on a $200M shipyard expansion which will make it more competitive in the international market that will put Cebu and the Philippines on the world's shipbuilding map. According to the Aboitiz Group, the expansion of the Balamban shipyard will create an additional estimated employment of 3000 workers such as welders, fitters among others in the western part of Cebu.
As of 2007 THICI employed about 4000 people that made Balamban one of the booming towns in Cebu, if not in the region. Balamban Mayor Alex Binghay, in a media interview said, its local government unit has required large companies such as THICI and FBMA Marine Inc. that 70% of their employment are locals from the Balamban area. Binghay noted that many of Cebu's 3rd district residents have come back to their hometown because of the employment opportunities the shipbuilding industry had created.
Hoegh Autoliners, a subsidiary of Leif Hoegh & Co. has commissioned THICI to build four (4) pure care and Track Carriers (PCTCs) with a capacity of about 5,200 cars vessel. Two of the 4 PCTCs, Hoegh Brasilla and Hoegh Sydney were completed and delivered on March 2007 and August 20, 2007 respectively. The 3rd vessel, Hoegh Manila that was christened by President Arroyo, is expected to be completed on December this year while the 4th ship, Hoegh Oslo will be launched on November 2007.
President Benigno S. Aquino III led the naming and delivery ceremony of the ship Tenshu Maru at the shipyard of Tsuneishi Heavy Industries (Cebu), Inc., in Barangay Buanoy, Balamban, Cebu. The Tenshu Maru is a 180,000 deadweight metric ton type cape size bulker, which is the first of its kind and the biggest to be constructed in the country. Tsuneishi Heavy Industries (Cebu), Inc. was commissioned to build the ship which was started on July 2010.
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