The Philippines, being an archipelago with over 7,000 islands, has a thriving maritime industry that spans logistics, ship-repair, and of course, shipbuilding of very large vessels. This has earned the country the distinction of being the 4th largest shipbuilder in the world.
Over the years, the establishment of track records in building world-class vessels has led to repeat orders from the local and foreign market Naval architecture using digital design and engineering, once the specialty of foreign builders, is now being undertaken in-house by a number of local companies. Along with maintenance work and warranty administration, the range of services that local ship builders offer had increased as more projects were completed. Over time, local shipbuilders gradually built their reputation as reliable companies that could compete locally and internationally under world-class standards.
Propmech, an all Filipino-owned company, has had these opportunities to Philippines to build vessels for the public and private sector. These projects were taken on from design concept to final engineering, all the way to procurement, construction, and final delivery/ acceptance turnover. The Propmech group has been serving the local maritime industry for over 60 years.
Propmech has entered into a partnership agreement with world-renowned Dutch shipbuilder, Damen Shipyards Group. The partnership appointed Propmech as its official Philippine representative. Through the Damen Technical Cooperation, it allows qualified Filipino shipyards to quickly upgrade their competitiveness and range of services thereby boosting the local shipbuilding industry of the Philippines in a short span of time.
“The Damen Technical Cooperation provides Filipino shipyards access to a library of proven Damen designs, which are supported by a pool of talented designers and engineers who have decades of experience in building thousands of ships for customers worldwide,” says Edward Antonio, of Propmech’s OMD for Business Development.
“Through the partnership, even small shipyards in the Philippine countrysides can build Damen boats in their own yards, and overcome the hump of having a track record and experience in building world class quality vessels.”
When asked what made Propmech a suitable Philippine partner, Floris Toetenel, Damen Sales Manager (Asia-Pacific) said, “Propmech knows the country, the culture, and has the connections.” The Netherlands-based company has been in the industry since 1927, with the strength of more than 9,000 employees. At present, Damen Shipyard Group has a leading position in the shipbuilding world and known for its unique, standardized shipbuilding concept called “The Damen Standard” which means well-proven, innovative vessels at competitive prices. “Damen has been eyeing the Philippine market for some time, and together with Propmech, we will focus on three main markets: Public Transport, Defense & Security and Dredging. In these markets we have a wide range of designs, such as ferries and water buses, naval combatants, coast guard patrol ships and disaster relief vessels and various types of dredgers and dredging equipment,” said Toetenel.
Propmech COO Helen Tong is upbeat about the country’s chances of becoming the leader in the shipbuilding business. “We are quite positive that the Philippine shipbuilding industry will reward local builders for their tenacity and ingenuity. We are confident that in partnership with Damen, we can offer unique services and designs to clients looking for that competitive edge.”
“Other than building boats, which is the core of our business, we deliver support to the client. That’s why we fly our engineers all over the world. We support our customers 24/7, wherever he is. Wherever there is water, there is Damen,” quips Toetenel.
“Expect the partnership to take shipbuilding in the Philippines to another level,” Helen Tong remarked. With the Damen-Propmech partnership, Philippine shipbuilders – big and small – will be able to undertake more complex projects and earn the confidence to compete in the global market.