1. ASTARTEZ Defense and Rescue Solutions (Philippines) - Coastal Industries Pte Ltd (Singapore/Vietnam) Joint Venture;
2. Daewoo International Corp. / Dae Sun Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. (South Korea);
3. Keppel Philippines Marine, Inc. (Singapore/Philippines);
4. Larsen and Toubro Ltd. / L&T Shipbuilding (India);
5. PROPMECH Corp. (Philippines)
6. PT Citra Shipyard (Indonesia)
7. PT PAL (Indonesia)
8. Stone of David (Philippines);
9. STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. (South Korea)
Let us get to know these companies, below are MaxDefense' initial information about them:
ASTARTEZ Defense and Rescue Solutions is a company based in Paranaque City, which specializes in supplying small arms, tactical and rescue gear and personal combat equipment, and has no experience in shipbuilding or marine products. The company has identified its marine component joint venture as Coastal Industries Pte. Ltd., said to be a Singaporean-Vietnamese company. MaxDefense tried to find anything about this foreign company but have failed miserably. MaxDefense will try to find out more about Coastal Industries Pte. Ltd.
Daewoo International Corp. and Dae Sun Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. are large South Korean companies, and prides itself of being the designer and builder of the Makassar-class Landing Platform Dock (LPD) for the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL), and is currently involved in supplying the Peruvian Navy with a similar ship under is "Buque Multiproposito" project. It was known before that they offered the Philippine Navy with a Makassar-class derived design for the PN's Multirole Vessel (MRV) project before, and is believed to be offering a smaller derivative for the SSV project. Due to their previous cooperations with Hanjin, it may be possible for Daewoo / Dae Sun to tap Hanjin's Subic Shipyard for local production as it would be more palatable to DND officials due to its ability to convert the project as a local investment.
Keppel Philippines Marine Inc. is the local subsidiary of Singapore conglomerate Keppel Corporation. It has shipyards in Batangas and in Subic, and has been involved in several projects of the Philippine Navy in the past, including the refitting and refurbishment of the PN's 2 Gregorio del Pilar-class frigates before their commissioning. Due to some tie-ups with Singapore's ST Engineering Ltd., there is a possibility that Keppel Philippines will be using ST Engineering's designs including the Endurance 120 series which was reported previously in MaxDefense to have been offered separately by ST Engineering. Having a local shipyard that can do the work is also an added advantage for KPMI.
|Keppel Philippines may probably cooperate with ST Engineering to use the Endurance 120 series design for the SSV.|
Photo taken from ST Engineering website.
Larsen & Toubro Ltd. is one of India's largest conglomerates, and its subsidiary L&T Shipbuilding has been actively involved in India's naval shipbuilding industry. It's latest involvement is in the construction of India's first indigenous nuclear-powered submarine, the INS Arihant, which it was the prime integrator. It also prides of having the largest naval shipyard in India. Their representatives were spotted in Cavite Naval Base early this year and are speculated to be involved in other projects of the Philippine Navy.
|L&T Shipbuilding is recently involved in the construction of India's first indigenous nuclear powered submarine, the INS Arihant. But no indication that they were able to build an SSV or similar platform before.|
The Philippines' PROPMECH Corporation is one of the active marine suppliers of the Philippine Navy in recent years, being involved in upgrading several of the PN's patrol boats, and have been successful in delivering the 1st (supply) and 2nd batches (supply and build) of Multipurpose Attack Craft (MPAC) and the largest locally made PN ship, the BRP Tagbanua (AT-296). In building AT-296, PROPMECH got the services of Philippine Iron Construction and Marine Works, so it is expected that they will carry out the same arrangement.
|PROPMECH has previously delivered the PN"s newest LCU the BRP Tagbanua (AT-296).|
PT Citra Shipyard is an Indonesian company, with their shipyard just opposite Singapore in Batam Island. MaxDefense doesn't have much on the shipbuilding experience of this company, but their website indicate that they have built numerous commercial barges. MaxDefense will try to find out more about this company, stay tuned on this blog's commentary section.
|PT Citra's website indicate that they are specialized in building commercial barges, like this one.|
Photo taken from PT Citra's website.
PT PAL is Indonesia's largest naval shipbuilder, and has extensive experience in building amphibious transport vessels for the Indonesian Navy. They are the recipient of the technology transfer deal from South Korea's Dae Sun Shipbuilding to locally build some of Indonesian Navy's Makassar-class Landing Platform Docks (LPD). PT PAL has already offered the PN their own LPD design derived from the Makassar-class, and has also previously offered their proposal for the SSV. So far they are the only entity that we have some familiarity on their SSV proposal.
|PT PAL previously offered the DND and PN it's SSV proposal. MaxDefense believes that the PN based the specifications for its SSV on PT PAL's offer.|
Stone of David, if MaxDefense is not mistaken, is actually a tactical equipment supplier, and is an active bidder for individual weapons & personal protection systems (please correct us if we are wrong on this). Due to its inexperience in shipbuilding and marine industry, it may be possible that they will have either a joint venture or sub-contractor to do the ships on their behalf. So far MaxDefense is unaware of who their appointed shipbuilder will be so we cannot assess what it can do.
|Is MaxDefense correct? We believe the Stone of David company that is interested in the SSV project is the same Stone of David that supplies handguns and personal protection gear.|
Photo taken from Stone of David's FB page.
South Korea's STX Offshore & Shipbuilding is the world's 4th largest shipbuilding company, and has extensive experience in building large commercial vessels (supertankers, etc) and they also have designs that will suit naval requirements. STX through its European subsidiaries, has been involved in building the French Navy's Mistral-class amphibious assault ships. No doubt that they can carry out the PN's SSV project. Like Dae Sun and Daewoo, it might be possible for STX to have shipbuilding agreements with Hanjin Subic Shipyard to build the ships in the Philippines if necessary to make their offer more acceptable.
|As the world's 4th largest shipbuilder, STX Offshore & Marine, through its European subsidiaries, was also greatly involved in the construction of France' Mistral-class amphibious assault ships.|
Surprisingly, there were a number of expected bidders that did not bought the bid documents. These are Spain's Navantia which previously offered the Athlas 8000 to the PN for its MRV project. Another is Australia's Austal, which has a shipyard in Cebu that can be used as an offset for the project. European companies are also absent, which may have found the budget for the SSV as unattractive for profit. American shipbuilders are also absent, like the Singaporean-owned VT Halter Marine which built the PN's Bacolod City-class LSVs.
|Navantia did not purchased the bid documents, but they still have time to do so. They have been offering the Athlas 8000 to the PN for some time now.|
Photo taken from Navantia's website.
As the submission of bids is still scheduled on August 29, 2013, there is possibility that other entities may be interested in procuring the bid documents and submitting a bid besides the 9 that bought earlier. MaxDefense will be closely monitoring any updates regarding the bidding of this project, as this is a major procurement item that would increase the capability of the PN.
Of the 9 prospective bidders, MaxDefense believes that there will be several entities that would not submit the bid, so we expect less than 9 bid submissions on the deadline. The schedule of the SSV project has already been delayed by 1 1/2 months so it is hoped that this won't be a failed bid.
For reference about the PN's SSV program, you may refer to MaxDefense' previous blog here:
Developments on Strategic Sealift Vessel Purchase for the Philippine Navy - Invitation to Bid Released. (http://maxdefense.blogspot.sg/2013/06/developments-on-strategic-sealift.html)
August 29, 2013:
Of the 9 potential contenders for the SSV project, only 2 submitted their bids: PT PAL Indonesia (builder of Banjarsamin-class) and Daewoo-Daesun of South Korea (builder of Makassar-class). But after further examination, the DND only qualified the bid of PT PAL, while Daewoo-Daesun was disqualified. It is still a hanging project as PT PAL needs to pass the post bid qualifications, which may start soon.
More of the news here and here.