The Philippine government seeks to boost the fleet of RoRo vessels to cover unserved routes throughout the country, according to the Maritime Industry Authority.
Emerson Lorenzo, head of Marina’s Shipping Regulation Office,said that 30 RoRo ships are needed for unserviced routes nationwide.
Each RoRo with a capacity of 500 gross tons costs $4 to $6m.
Lorenzo said the additional RoRo vessels would improve the country’s cargo industry and strengthen the Central and Eastern Nautical Highways.
Under the program, the government wants a RoRo port system to link the country’s islands.
Another trigger for increased demand in new vessels is the April 2008 deadline for the phase-out of black cargo tankers plying Philippine waters. Each vessel, carrying 2,500 to 3,750 dead-weight tons, is priced at around $10m to $15m.
Lorenzo said that local shipyards have no technology to build such vessels, but many are establishing ties with foreign shipyards to cope with demand.
The average life span of a sea-going vessel is 30 to 35 years, with classed ships able to operate well beyond 50 years. Unclassed ships, however, are considered old by the time they reach 25.
Source: The Manila Times