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Former Hanjin Shipyard Receives Design Approval for LNG Containership

first design approval for HJ Korea from Lloyd's
HJ continues to rebuild Hanjin's former shipbuilding business focusing on environmentally-friendly technologies (Hanjin file photo)

Published Apr 14, 2022 8:23 PM by The Maritime Executive

South Korea’s former Hanjin Shipyard, now known as HJ Shipbuilding, took another key step forward in its revitalization efforts announcing that it received design approval from Lloyd’s Register for its first new design. Since 2016, the financially troubled shipyard has been carrying out government contracts. A year ago it was sold by the government-controlled Korean Development Bank to a group of investors led by Dongbu Corp., a Korean construction company.

HJ reports that it received Approval in Principle from Lloyd’s Register as part of an ongoing cooperation between the companies launched in November 2021. The shipyard is focusing on smaller, feeder-sized containerships as one of the first markets to rebuild its commercial business. The design approval is for a 7,700 TEU dual-fuel containership. HJ noted in announcing the design the strong demand from global shipowners for these smaller, versatile vessels. 

The design is for an 892-foot-long containership with a top speed of 22 knots. The yard said it also incorporated several advancements into the design including using a membrane tank to provide a larger 6,000 cm LNG fuel tank as well as dual-fuel engines to provide flexibility and maximum fuel efficiency. The design also maximizes the container load and operating efficiency.

“With LR's approval, HJSC has secured eco-friendly shipbuilding technology and can respond to various demands of shipowners,” the company said in its statement. “As carbon neutrality has emerged as a hot topic in the shipping and shipbuilding industries, the demand for eco-friendly alternative fuel propulsion ships such as methanol, ammonia, and hydrogen will further expand."

Officials from the yard said that they believed this represented an important step to restoring the yard’s international business. HJ received in October 2021 its first commercial shipbuilding contract in six years four 5,500 TEU containerships due for delivery to a European shipping company in November 2023. The Hamburg-based MPC Capital confirmed in January 2022 that it was behind the order. The company said looking to take advantage of opportunities in the containership feeder ship market that it ordered the four 5,500 TEU environmentally-friendly ships in part due to the availability of building slots and quick delivery for the ships.

The shipyard, which is the oldest in South Korea tracing its origins to the 1930s, had been acquired by Hanjin in 1989. After avoiding bankruptcy through a government-led bailout in 2016, it did mostly government work in the following years. In 2020, the South Korean government began a new effort to privatize the shipyards focusing on selling its investment in the mid-sized yards including Hanjin and STX with a goal of revitalizing the market segment.