Greater ChinaShipyards

STX Dalian restarts shipbuilding with order for four handy bulkers

One of the largest shipbuilding bases in China is being resuscitated after an eight-year hiatus due to bankruptcy.

STX Dalian Shipbuilding has won orders to build four 20,000 dwt handysize ships, according to Caixin, a well-respected Beijing-headquartered financial newswire.

In July this year, Hengli Heavy Industry Group, a subsidiary of petrochemical giant Hengli Group, paid RMB1.729bn ($257m) to acquire all the assets of STX Dalian. It is Hengli who has placed these first orders back at STX Dalian, according to Caixin. The vessels will join Hengli’s 12-ship fleet and operate between the port of Qinhuangdao, the world’s largest coal exporting terminal, and Dalian for coal transport.

STX Dalian was one of the largest shipyards in the world in terms of area space when it was founded in 2006. It went bankrupt in 2014 due to a financial crisis at its parent in South Korea leaving over 20,000 employees out of work.

The fall of STX Dalian triggered the collapse of the economy at Dalian’s Changxing Island, where the local economy was built around the shipyard.

In South Korea, STX Offshore & Shipbuilding was rebranded last year to K Shipbuilding and has since managed to win a string of orders.

With most major yards in East Asia full for the coming couple of years, a number of shuttered Chinese yards are readying for a comeback.

Splash reported earlier this month that Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industries is coming back to the market, rebranded as SPS Shipyard.

The shipyard, located in the Yangtze River Delta, was founded in 2006, and became the largest private shipbuilder in China, churning out giant valemaxes at its four large dry-docks, before a massive financial collapse forced it to cease operations in 2014.

George Economou’s TMS Dry has come in with the first orders at the reopened yard with the Greek owner signing a letter of intent for six firm 82,000 dwt kamsarmaxes and four 180,000 dwt capes. The deal comes with options for four more kamsarmaxes and pricing is understood to be a bargain – at $33m per kamsarmax and $62m per cape. The first ship will deliver in Q3 2024.

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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