Hyundai Heavy readies to mothball drydocks

The world’s largest shipbuilder is readying plans to mothball drydocks as its orderbook dwindles and restructuring beckons.

The unprecedented move comes as speculation mounts HHI will announce layoffs of as many as 4,000 workers very soon.

HHI has nine drydocks at its headquarters in Ulsan, another one in Gunsan, while subsidiary Hyundai Samho has three in Mopko and another subsidiary has four docks in Ulsan. The drydock in Gunsan is likely to be shuttered first. The Gunsan facility was opened six years ago as HHI expanded to handle a huge order backlog. The Gunsan orderbook is now just a few months away from being completed.

HHI will submit a voluntary restructuring plan, including job cuts and the sale of various assets, to its main creditor KEB Hana Bank as early as this week.


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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