Shipbuilding in the Philippines: 4th World Biggest!



The Philippines is an archipelagic country located in Southeast Asia formed by around 7641 islands with a total land area of 342,353 Km2 it has a deep origin in shipping, maritime activities, and seafaring.

Shipbuilding in the Philippines tends to grow and is already listed as the 4th largest in the World! Let’s take a close look at what was achieved in the latest years and what are current production capacities!

How many shipyards are there in the Philippines?

As of 2021, there are 118 registered shipyards, 17 of which belong to the medium-large scale category/classification these yards are scattered along with the country’s three (3) main divisions; Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Since 2008, the Philippines notched 4th in the rank of the largest shipbuilding nations of the world following South Korea, China, and Japan; the Pearl of the Orient Seas had covered 1.6% of the world’s ship production with more than a hundred (100) ships produced per year and roughly 5900 gross tonnages overall.

A major contributor to its excellence in shipbuilding is the tactical position of the country in terms of commercial trade routes and God-shaped geography. The natural trade way for ships is a big factor in the Philippines being chosen as a strategic place for repairs and construction.

On the other hand, the overwhelming coastline and seabed characteristics make it accommodating for large vessels as well. In addition, the country’s anchorage area, ports, and wharf facilities have been providing the safest shelter for vessels against strong typhoons.

What is the biggest shipyard in the Philippines?

The biggest shipyard to ever operate in the country is the Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction
Philippines (HHIC Phil.) is located in Subic, Zambales, and established in 2006 with about 300 hectares the yard has a size of 35 000 workers.

The South Korean subsidiary company has 500 meters by 135 meters (1 640 ft x 443 ft) docking facility, cranes (gantry), and automated assembly lines of 600,000 DWT. The company employees are consisting of mixed multinational professionals namely; Koreans, Romanians, and Filipinos.

Notably, the yard is known for building container ships, tanker vessels, and bulk carriers. Three (3) ships of its milestones are:

the M/V Agrolikos (the first Philippine-made container ship) was built in 2008 with a length overall of 258.97 meters and a span of 32.2 meters the mighty ship has a gross tonnage of 40, 560 tons (4, 400 TEU, twenty-foot equivalent unit in the capacity).

Secondly, M/T Leyla K was built in 2010 with a length overall of 251 meters and a breadth of 44m was the largest tanker ship made in the Philippines until 2011. It has a gross weight tonnage of 63, 304 tons and deadweight tons (DWT) of 115, 948 tons.

Lastly, CMA CGM Antoine De Saint Exupery was built in 2018 and has an LOA of 400 meters and a beam of 59 meters, is a container ship with a capacity of 20,954 TEU and a gross tonnage of 219,277 tons.

Unfortunately, the company filed bankruptcy on 08 January 2019 with failure to pay its responsibilities to an outstanding debt of $ 1.3 billion on mixed $ 900 million South Korean Lenders credits and $ 400 million combined Filipino bank loans causing the enormous shipyard to cease operation.

As of 2022, the company is announced to be sold to Cerberus management Capital – a United States equity investment company in cooperation with their settled operator, Agila Naval Incorporated. The said company will cover Hanjin’s Philippine Bank debts to take over the five (5) decade long-term facility lease. It is hoped to restart by involving 3000 job openings during the acquisition.

List of shipbuilding companies in the Philippines

Some well-known and distinguished shipyards located in the Philippines are listed in our short overview with their biggest projects, shipyard capacities, floating docks, and lifting equipment.

SUBICDOCK, Subic Drydock Corporation

The company was established in 2005 and located in Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales, The Philippines, enclosed in 29, 143 m2 yard land space, has been constructing its own name both domestic and international. The yard has a broad spectrum of drydocking and general services to offer.

Facilities include a floating dock of 4400-ton lifting capacity with LOA of 48 meters and breadth of 26 meters, a pier for afloat works with a length overall of 134 meters.

Floating cranes with 60-ton lifting capacity, a 55-ton mobile Tadano, and a fully serviced machine shop for fabrication. Three of its most recent projects are presented in the table below (newest to oldest).

USNS Henson100.28m X 17.68m, 4201 tonsUS NAVYVoyage repair30 January 2022
USNS Bowditch100.28m X 17.68m, 4260 tonsMSCVoyage repair17 December 2021
MT Magsino26.37m X 8.6 m, 190 tonsMalayan Towage and Salvage Corp.Drydocking and Repair Works07 July 2021


The shipyard was established in the year 2000 and is located in Mariveles, Bataan, and has a total
the land area of 19,840 m2.

Herma shipyard is equipped with a graving dock of 15,000 Gross tonnages, a Floating Dock of 1,600 Gross Tonnage, and a Launchway/slipway of 120 X 20 meters, without a doubt the Herma yard is one of the leading shipyards the country has.

Major services offered by the company are ship drydocking and repair, ship upgrade and conversion, and shipbuilding. The facility provides shore power (220 to 440 Vac), shore cooling water connections, freshwater
supply, sewage disposal and etc.

The company has built 11 (eleven) double-bottomed and double-hulled international classed oil tanker ships as the company propagate for more than two (2) decades.
Three of its most recent projects published are presented in the table below (newest to oldest).

MV Ocean Tranquility104.65 m X 16.4 m, 4004 tonsSantierul Naval SevernavDrydocking and Repair Works17 December 2019
MV Big Sky Explorer45 m X 8m, 297 tonsUnknownDrydocking and Repair Works02 December 2019
FV Sea Bounty72 m X 12 m, 1, 415 tonsSea Global FisheriesDrydocking and Repair Works26 November 2019

KEPPEL Shipyard Philippines

This shipyard is globally known as Keppel Offshore and Marine. KEPPEL Shipyard Philippines was established in July 1975 in the Philippines and has been offering construction, repair, and fabrication largely and for the longest time, surpassing 100-mark deliveries of vessels and off-shore structures.

This shipbuilding and ship repair powerhouse has been undeniably a stronghold of the Philippine shipyard industry. Operating on two (2) different yards in the country; Keppel Subic Shipyard and Keppel Batangas Shipyard, have been meeting their client’s satisfaction through state-of-the-art facilities and unstoppable innovation.

The Keppel Batangas shipyard has a total land area of 4, 207.10 m2 and is capable of ship repair and
construction, ship conversion, and offshore rig fabrication. Presented are the facility capabilities;

Graving Dock200 m X 38 m, 50 000 DWT
Ship lift systemcan bring vessels up to 20 000 DWT to any of seven (7) dry berths
Gantry CraneMax. lift of 300 Tons
Gantry CraneMax. lift of 40 Tons
Assembly areas (ship production)Four (4) Areas

The Keppel Subic Shipyard with a registered yard area of 170, 000 m2 is capable of ship repair and
construction, Floating Production Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) conversion. Presented are the facility’s capabilities.

Graving Dock550 m X 65 m, 550 000 DWT
Six (6) dock arms, graving dock24 m X 2 units; 40 m X units
Gantry Crane1 500 tons
Berthing Quay942 meters in total length; max draft 8.5 meters
Fabrication Areas94 000 m2 in total
Jib Crane100 m; 35 Tons

Shipbuilding and ship repair industry growth in the Philippines

Along with the continuous efforts of the Republic of the Philippines and the local governing body Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) under Circular no. 2018-02 of April 11, 2018, to pursue Presidential Decree 474, presidential Decree 1059, and Republic Act 9295.

The industry of shipbuilding and ship repair is barred on a globally competitive standard which will further harden the world-class services the country of the Philippines has to offer. The ship repair and shipbuilding business are set to a full-throttle to be sought ahead by more foreign and local clients.

Other Remarkable Filipino shipyards are:

  • Frabelle Shipyard Corporation
  • Josefa Slipways Incorporated
  • R & LT Shipyard and Realty Development Corporation
  • Pier 44 Shipyard and Development Corporation
  • Gensan Shipyard and Machine Works Incorporated
  • SAFI Shipyard Incorporated

Amidst the vast possibilities awaiting, the Philippines’ shipbuilding booming economy will steer- packed with experience and technical capabilities, will propeller to innovation one after another, and will continue to navigate to the future.

Like any other voyage, it will encounter rough seas, mad storms, and gigantic waves but it will still roll on it, continue its journey and will reach its objectives, and finally deliver the mission.

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