South Korea’s Big Three Return to The Scene

Image Courtesy: HHI

South Korean big three shipbuilders, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) have so far this year made a major comeback as owners rushed to avail of attractive VLCC prices. 

Namely, John Fredriksen-controlled tanker shipping company Frontline has allegedly ordered two VLCCs from HHI which are scheduled for delivery in July 2019. The contract worth USD 320 million also includes an option for the construction of two more ships, according to Yonhap News Agency.

In January, crude oil tanker company DHT Holdings placed an order for two VLCCs at HHI.

What is more, HHI received in February an order for the construction of two 300,000-ton VLCCs from Greek shipowner Enesel.

Another Greek shipping company, Neda Maritime, ordered a 319,000 dwt VLCC from HHI.

HHI has reportedly won orders to construct nine VLCCs so far in 2017.

Additionally, SHI has also entered into an letter of intent (LOI) with an unidentified Greek shipping firm to build up to eight VLCCs, with the value of the contract estimated at USD 650 million. The firm that ordered the vessels is likely to be Capital Maritime and Trading, VesselsValue’s data shows. The quartet is expected to be delivered to Capital by the end of 2019.

BW Group has placed an order for four VLCCs at SHI with a contract value of USD 334.8 million.

The third shipbuilder, DSME, has inked a deal with Greek shipping company Maran Tankers to build three VLCCs. Furthermore, DSME signed a letter of intent with compatriot carrier Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) to construct up to ten VLCCs.

Separately, Yonhap reported that South Korean shipyards surpassed their Chinese rivals in April. Referring to Clarkson Research Institute’s data, Yonhap informed that Korean yards won orders worth a combined 340,000 compensated gross tons (CGTs) to build twelve ships during the month. On the other hand, yards in China received in April orders estimated at 260,000 CGTs to construct 13 vessels.

The recovery comes following a turmoil in the shipbuilding industry from last year that pushed major shipbuilders to restructuring and cost saving measures.

World Maritime News Staff

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