Japanese shipping firm Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. has opened a new crew training facility in the Philippines to meet increasing demand for Filipino seafarers along with its planned fleet expansion.
The Tokyo-based firm says the 11-story building Ocean Breeze in Pasay City, south of Manila, is located adjacent to the K Line building, which houses K Line Maritime Academy Philippines.
The new facility is replete with a clinic and dormitory with a capacity of 225 trainees and also houses K Line group companies such as manning, logistics and marine shipping agent firms.
Kawasaki Kisen currently operates some 650 vessels and assigns its own crew members to about 190 of them. The number of K Line seafarers totals 2,400 to 2,500, with Filipinos accounting for 60 percent.
The Japanese shipper plans to boost the numbers of its company-operated ships and crew members to about 210 and 2,700 by 2020, respectively, thanks to growing demand for crew from liquefied natural gas tankers and bulk carriers, a spokesman told NNA. The number of Filipino seafarers alone will grow by between 100 and 120 by then, prompting K Line to expand its Maritime Academy.