France's Naval Group has begun conducting studies to determine the feasibility of taking over and operating Hanjin's bankrupt shipyard at the former American naval base in Subic, an official of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has confirmed.
Mr Ceferino Rodolfo, managing head of the DTI's Board of Investments (BOI), said that the French defence firm is presently conducting a technical study, which it hopes to present to the creditors of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHIC-Phil).
An official of the French embassy in Manila has confirmed Naval Group's interest in the facility but could not disclose the amount that the firm would be willing to invest in the potential takeover.
Mr Rodolfo added that Damen Shipyards Group and an unnamed American company have also expressed interest in HHIC-Phil's Subic shipyard and are conducting their own technical studies.
The interested foreign entities, Naval Group included, are reportedly also studying whether the shipyard could be retrofitted to suit other purposes.
At the time that HHIC-Phil filed for court rehabilitation in January of this year after incurring an estimated US$1.3 billion in total outstanding debt, the shipyard had been primarily involved in building containerships, bulk carriers, and very large crude carriers (VLCCs) for overseas customers.