Korea takes steps to stay ahead of the shipbuilding pack

Seoul: Korea Inc is going all out to try and protect its leading position in world shipbuilding. The public and private sectors are coming together to try and secure future ship types. The energy ministry has laid out plans for the nation’s shipbuilders to win 70% of all dual-fuelled ships by 2025, a market the ministry reckons will be worth $130bn in 10 years time.

As part of its commitment to boost LNG as a ship fuel, Seoul has announced plans to build LNG bunkering terminals at its leading ports.

Meanwhile, the nation’s biggest three shipbuilders, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering have committed to provide publicised patents to their smaller local counterparts to help them build eco-friendly ships.

Some 2,500 patents will be offered via a new innovation centre in Ulsan, the city where HHI is based.

South Korea, which overtook Japan to become the leading shipbuilding nation in 2000, has since found its position eroded by cheaper neighbour, China and even Japan, where the weak yen and attractive financing have seen its yards make a comeback this year. Japanese new ship export orders in June increased by 217%.

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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