The Philippine News Agency reported that OCEA, a shipbuilding firm in northwest France, has expressed its intent to build a PHP1.5-billion shipyard in the country. In a statement Wednesday, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said OCEA is just one of the investment interests from France that the country has cornered during the 9th Philippine-France Joint Economic Committee (JEC) meeting last July 2. The JEC with France is the country’s longest-running high-level economic dialogue with a European country. OCEA’s shipyard here is expected to create up to 600 jobs.
During the high-level economic dialogue, French Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness Franck Riester also presented three letters of intent confirming financial support for the upcoming projects of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), financial aid in support of a training boat contract for the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA); and a possible maritime expert proposal. The 10th Philippines-France JEC meeting will be conducted in Paris in 2022. Riester announced that he will visit the Philippines before the year ends.
On September 9, 2014, the Philippine Coast Guard through the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the French Shipbuilder OCEA entered an agreement to supply the latter with four 24 m FPB-72 Patrol Boats and one 82 m (269 ft 0 in) OPV-270 Offshore Patrol Vessel provided by a loan granted by the French Government. The vessels may be deployed to deter piracy incidents in southern Mindanao and defend the country’s territorial claims over the West Philippine Sea. It also marks the first major vessel acquisition for the Philippine Coast Guard under the Duterte administration.
Created in 1987, OCEA S.A. developed quickly in France as well as outside the country. Today, with more than 300 employees and 4 production sites in France totalising 27 850 square meters of workshops. Specialized in the design, building and support of aluminium vessels up to 85 meters, OCEA S.A. has rapidly expanded since its establishment. The Philippine Coast Guard OPV 270 Gabriela Silang,\ designed and built by OCEA shipyard, has just been awarded for the “Best Large Patrol Boat 2020” by the Baird Work Boat World team.