Workers at struggling Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering are begging state banks to help out and issue refund guarantees.
A branch of the Korean Metal Workers’ Union (KMWU) has called on the Export-Import Bank of Korea to ease requirements for issuing refund guarantees. The union claimed that the yard has lost up to 10 ship orders from European companies in recent months because the yard was unable to fix refund guarantees.
Sungdong’s orderbook is set to expire this October, at which point it could follow compatriot SPP Shipbuilding and cease operations. Its workforce has more than halved in the past couple of years.
Sungdong, started out as an equipment manufacturer, then a block builder, before moving into shipbuilding in 2004, pioneering onland construction and becoming a global top 10 yard before tough times hit. It has been in a debt workout scheme for most of this decade.