FBM Marine International, a subsidiary of The Hong Kong Parkview Group, has set up a US$30 million joint venture with Aboitiz & Co, to build fast ferries and other high-speed craft at a facility in the Philippines. The joint venture, FBM-Aboitiz Shipyard, will be built on a 10-hectare site at Balamban, Cebu, and will consist of a high-tech shipyard and maintenance and repair facilities. 'Top of the range is the 45-metre, 50-knot TriCat, five more of which have recently been ordered by CTS-Parkview Ferry Services following the successful introduction of the first five boats on this service,' an FBM statement said. Two catamarans of the further five ordered will be manufactured at the new yard during the first year of the company's operation. These ferries will join the CTS Parkview fleet in Hong Kong as part of its modernisation programme. Further production is also planned for Universal Aboitiz Inc, to include both the FBM 45m TriCat and the larger 70m fast ferry monohulls for operation on the longer routes in the Philippines. Parkview is a co-partner of Aboitiz Transport Services in Universal Aboitiz Inc (UAI), which began operating several fast ferry catamaran services on short distance routes in the Philippines last year. FBM Marine International's subsidiary FBM Marine (UK) is one of Britain's premier marine design and manufacturing companies, based on the Isle of Wight in England. Aboitiz and Co is owned by the Cebu-based Aboitiz family, which has interests in production, manufacturing, marketing and distribution, banking, real estate and agriculture. Aboitiz is also engaged in multi-modal services for shipping, trucking, domestic and international freight forwarding, air cargo transport and warehousing. FBM will provide the technical expertise, including the plans and designs for fast craft. This partnership will allow FBM to expand into Asia's developing fast ferry market and create the technology required for building such vessels in the Philippines. FBM has an extensive portfolio of fast ferries, including monohulls and catamarans, to cater for a wide range of applications. The new yard will also be able to build FBM's wide range of patrol boats designs, both for use in the Philippines and for export. These include the 40-knot, 26m Guardian fast patrol boat, designed for coastal duties, including counter-smuggling and fishery protection. Since its establishment in 1946, FBM has built more than 16,000 vessels, including offshore search and rescue lifeboats, fast patrol boats, landing craft and fast ferries. These vessels were designed and built to meet the requirements of national and international regulatory authorities and classification societies. FBM (UK) is certified ISO 9001 for quality control and it is intended that the new yard will also qualify for ISO status in order to provide higher quality craft for its customers.