Negros Navigation Corporation (NNC), the country’s oldest shipping company, is planning to double capacity and vessel frequency in all ports of operation with Cagayan de Oro as among the priority ports due to the booming business climate. NNC is predicting a four to seven percent volume growth for the rest of 2010.

NNC chair and chief executive officer Sulficio Tagud Jr. made this forecast after noting the country and the rest of the world has started to recover from the effects of the global financial crisis as evidenced by the gradual increase in passenger and cargo volumes in the domestic shipping industry.

He added that NNC is planning to acquire five new ships until 2015. The first two worth USD20 million will be delivered this year. Each can carry about 2,000 passengers and about 150 standard containers.

The remaining three vessels are pure cargo carriers that can ship 250 to 300 containers.

Half of the acquisition cost will be financed through internally-generated funds and the other half through local borrowing.

In 2009, NNC posted a 124-percent increase in net income to P412 million from P184 million in 2008, allowing for its early exit from a court-appointed rehabilitation program.

The (PNA)

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