Founding members of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association have a history of nurturing yards, whether originally in Japan in the 1960s and 1970s, through to Chinese shipbuilders at the start of this century.
They’re also coming to the rescue of one of South Korea’s fallen shipbuilding stars.
Island Navigation, run by the Tung family who sold OOCL to Cosco four years ago, are the latest to order a 50,000 dwt product tanker at STX Offshore & Shipbuilding in Jinhae in the southeast of South Korea. Island Navigation is paying $34m for the ship with delivery due next year.
Splash reported last week the Koo family-controlled Valles Steamship also from Hong Kong contracted STX for an identical ship to the one ordered by the Tungs.
Last month private equity fund KH Investment and local debt clearing house United Asset Management joined forces to take STX private after eight years of being held by state-backed creditors.
As recently as eight years ago, STX was the world’s fourth largest shipbuilding group but financial scandals and a severe drop in orders plunged the yard into chaos in 2013 with many affiliates since sold off.
Formerly known as Ssangyong Heavy Industries, the yard was taken over and rebranded as STX in the year 2000.