South Korea’s government will help the nation’s shipping companies place orders for about 200 ships over the next three years to help the country’s ailing shipping and shipbuilding industry, South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries announced this week, as reported by Yonhap.
The plan is part of a mid-term restructuring plan unveiled for South Korea’s shipping and shipbuilding industries, which have been hit hard by weak global demand for ships and offshore rigs that has resulted in massive losses for shipyards and the bankruptcy of the country’s biggest shipping line, Hanjin Shipping, in 2016.
“Following the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping, sales of South Korea’s shipping industry were cut by over 10 trillion won, and the tonnage of the deep sea containers has been cut in half,” Yanhap reported Oceans Minister Kim Young-choon as saying in a meeting of economic-related ministers. “We have prepared a set of comprehensive measures to support the shipping and shipbuilding industries grappling with a protracted slump, intense competition and environmental regulations.”
The plan calls for the construction of 140 bulk carriers and 60 containerships, according to Yonhap. The ship purchase plan is expected to raise Hyundai Merchant Marine’s shipping capacity to 1 million TEU by 2020.
For the shipbuilding industry, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said it will carry out a comprehensive restructuring plan for the nation’s leading industry players and increase ship orders for local shipyards. The Ministry said it will also seek a new owner of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, one of the nation’s “Big 3” shipyards.
“(The government) will consider (Daewoo Shipbuilding’s) sales plan in the mid to long term, considering market conditions and its business normalization efforts,” the Ministry said in a release.