Korean government in dialogue with Hyundai Heavy to keep Gunsan yard open

The Korean government is looking into the closure of Hyundai Heavy’s Gunsan yard, trying to find a solution to keep it open.

The new Korean president, Moon Jae-In, pressed by local politicans, said earlier this week that the nation’s prime minister has been in touch with Hyundai Heavy to seek a way to keep Gunsan up and running.

The yard faces being mothballed from July 1 as its orderbook runs out.

HHI began to build its Gusan yard in May 2008 at the peak of the last supercycle in shipping. The president of the nation at the time, Lee Myung-bak, was on hand for the official groundbreaking ceremony. By the time it was completed the following summer, however, the markets were in post-Lehman shock.

The Gunsan yard is enormous; spread over 1.8m sq m and features one of the world’s largest drydocks, some 700 m long with a huge 1,600 ton crane.

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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