Mixed week for Korean yards

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche

16 March 2017


If adding to the overcapacity in the boxship fleet in a very big way can be considered good news, then Samsung Heavy must be feeling pleased with itself after unveiling the largest ship in the world by container capacity on Wednesday. MOL Triumph, is the first of four 20,150teu ships ordered by the Japanese owner in December 2015. It has dimensions of 400m loa and a 58.8m beam. Meanwhile, other Korean yards were planning to strengthen their positions at a time when new orders are hard to come by. The world’s largest shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) is embarking on a strategy of spinning off non-core business as it hopes to achieve a 30% increase in income from shipbuilding through to 2021. HHI’s plans involve four divisions being established next month. The divisions will be shipbuilding, electronics, construction equipment and robotics. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) is also planning to sell off non-core assets including its building in Seoul valued at US$30Mn for which an agreement has already been made. DSME benefitted from a creditors’ rescue package in late 2015 but failed to meet anticipated orders last year and is now struggling again. The latest news is that the South Korean government will provide up to three trillion won (US$2.6 billion) in return for a debt workout program with final details to be announced next week. The government may also be considering pushing all shipbuilders to co-operate in combining some of the non-core businesses of each.