YUCHENGCO-LED EEI Corp. has partnered with South Korea’s Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd. (HHIC) for potential construction projects in the country.

In a statement on Friday, the listed firm said it has signed a strategic alliance agreement with HHIC. The two companies have previously teamed up for local projects such as the Berth 6 Manila International Container Project.

Founded in 1937, HHIC provides shipbuilding, construction, and plant services both in South Korea and overseas markets. It builds commercial ships such as container and gas carriers, tankers, bulk carriers, and special purpose ships, among others.

EEI noted that HHIC has already completed more than 100 construction projects in the country since 1973.

HHIC’s local unit, Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHIC-Phil), filed for corporate rehabilitation last January before an Olongapo court that left some $412 million in outstanding loans from BDO Unibank, Inc. Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., Land Bank of the Philippines, Bank of the Philippine Islands and Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.

The five banks are now assessing interest from foreign shipbuilding firms over the local unit’s assets in order to recover their funds.

On the other hand, EEI has been involved in the installation and construction of power generating facilities, oil refineries, chemical production plants, and cement plants, among others, since 1931. It is also engaged in a number of construction projects abroad.

EEI’s net income attributable to the parent grew by 15% to P326.09 million in the first quarter of 2019, following a 30% increase in gross revenues to P5.62 billion.

The company is part of the Yuchengco group, which also has interests in banking, financial services, property development, and education. Its market capitalization is currently at P11.32 billion.

Shares in EEI were unchanged at P11 each at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday. — Arra B. Francia