A year to the day since compatriot Hanjin Shipping went at its expense, South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) announced late on Thursday long telegraphed orders for boxships and VLCCs.
Now the Korean flag carrier in the wake of Hanjin’s demise, HMM is tapping state funds via Seoul’s newly created maritime financing vehicle, Korea Shipping & Offshore, to come in for two 11,000 teu resales as well as five VLCCs with options for five more supertankers.
The boxships are under construction at Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction’s Subic Shipyard in the Philippines and at $81m each are, according to HMM, priced 10% lower than current market prices. The ships will deliver in May next year and will be deployed on services from Asia to the east coast of South America.
Meanwhile, the Korean shipping line has finalised its investment plans for five firm and five option VLCCs at compatriot Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). The five firm tankers are priced at KRW470bn ($418m) and will deliver from early 2019 onwards.
An HMM official commented on the tanker orders: “This year is the right time to order new VLCCs at historically lowest prices since 2003.”
HMM managed to squeak through dramatic restructuring last year and has since set about planning a significant fleet expansion as well as major investments in terminals around the world.