Seoul earmarks billions to save shipyards

Seoul earmarks billions to save shipyards

Seoul has moved to right the ship of its dire maritime sector announcing today a new KRW1trn ($871.73m) state-backed ship finance company.

The government said in a statement it has earmarked up to KRW6.5trn to help local lines buy new ships.

Seoul said it aims to get as many as 250 ships ordered at local yards between now and 2020 to provide much needed business for the hard hit local shipbuilding scene which has seen orders dry up this year pushing thousands of shipyard workers out of work.

Among new anticipated orders, the government said it would seek to place a big order next year for a fleet of LNG bunkering vessels.

News of a government bailout of the local shipping and shipbuilding scene will infuriate owners in Europe who have long called for governments to desist from interfering in the sector.

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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