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Shipbuilding orders

Korean shipbuilders kick off 2021 with $1 bn container ship, LNG carrier orders

Jan 05, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

An LNG-powered container ship built by Hyundai Heavy Industries

South Korea’s two major shipyards have started off 2021 with decent orders, brightening the outlook for the country to retain its leadership in the global shipbuilding industry.

Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co. (KSOE) said on Dec. 5 that it has signed a 900 billion won ($823 million) deal to build six 15,000 TEU LNG-propelled container ships for an unidentified Asian shipowner.

Of the six vessels, four will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., a unit of KSOE, and the other two will be constructed by Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co., another unit of Korea Shipbuilding.

KSOE, the shipbuilding holding company of the Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, said it will start delivering the vessels in the first half of 2023. It said the ships will be equipped with a large LNG fuel tank that enables a round trip between Asia and Europe on a single charge.

The shipbuilding group has so far secured orders to build a total of 50 LNG-powered ships, the largest volume among major global shipbuilders.

“We will concentrate on value-added, eco-friendly vessels such as LNG carriers as well as container ships as the global shipping market is expected to stage a meaningful recovery,” said a Hyundai Heavy official.

The shipbuilding group said they are targeting a combined $14.9 billion in new orders for 2021, up 35.4% from last year’s results of $11 billion for 116 vessels.

SAMSUNG BAGS LNG CARRIER DEAL

An LNG carrier built by Samsung Heavy Industries

Meanwhile, Samsung Heavy Industries Co. said on Tuesday it has signed a 199.3 billion won ($183 million) deal to build an LNG carrier for Pan Ocean Co., a local shipper.

The vessel will be delivered to Pan Ocean by April 2023. With the latest order, Samsung Heavy has won orders to build a total of 20 LNG carriers since November.

Samsung has yet to announce its order target for 2021.

GLOBAL LEADERSHIP

According to global market researcher Clarkson Research Service, South Korean shipyards’ new orders came to 6.73 million compensated gross tons (CGTs) as of Dec. 28 last year, trailing Chinese shipbuilders’ 7.98 million CGTs, which would rank them first worldwide.

But the data didn’t include a combined 17 LNG carriers won by KSOE and Samsung Heavy – the world’s two largest shipbuilders – in the final week of 2020.

With the 17 vessels amounting to 1.45 million CGTs, Korea surpassed China to retain the No. 1 spot in global ship orders for the third straight year, according to industry officials.

Analysts said Korea will likely maintain its global leadership this year, backed by a recovery in the shipping industry amid signs of increasing cross-border transactions.

Write to Man-Su Choe at bebop@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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