STX Offshore & Shipbuilding on the brink

STX Offshore & Shipbuilding is on the verge of liquidation unless a large amount of money can be pumped into the Korean shipbuilder very soon. Local media report the yard’s ceo, Lee Byung-Mo issuing a recent email to staff stating: “If we operate our company the way it is without special countermeasures, we will be short of funds worth hundreds of billions of won in the next three years. The company will face a crisis at the end of this year and collapse in the first half of 2016.”

The shipbuilder has burnt through close to $4bn of creditors’ funds since 2013, and there is speculation that some of these creditors are now unwilling to throw more money at the ailing yard.

Lead creditor Korea Development Bank (KDB) is expected to announce what it intends to do with the shipbuilder in the next 10 days.

STX Offshore & Shipbuilding has already announced plans to slash capacity and staff by 25% next year and to focus on fewer ship types, primarily LR1 product tankers.

The yard’s China subsidiary, STX Dalian, a giant facility in the northeast of China, has not been sold at auction on three occasions this year.

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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