Korea’s big three yards brace for another tumultuous year

The heads of South Korea’s big three shipbuilders have delivered their New Year’s addresses, warning of another very difficult 12 months.

Addressing his more than 20,000 employees Kwon Oh-Gap, CEO of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), admitted: “The business climate at the moment is not helpful. We need to change.” HHI, the world’s largest shipbuilder, has set an order target of $19.5bn in 2016, down from a target of $22.95bn in 2015.

Meanwhile, Park Dae-Young, CEO and president of Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), said: “We have suffered huge losses due to delays in production process.”

He urged his staff to fight on. “All of us need to have tenacity in order to seize opportunities that lie hidden in crisis,” Park said.

Finally, Jung Sung-Leep, CEO of the most hard hit of the three big Korean yards, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), said he was sure DSME could turn a profit this year, albeit with very large cost cutting.

HHI, SHI and DSME have been hit very hard by the low oil prices, resulting in many delays and cancellations of big offshore projects.


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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