South Korea Books First Large New Shipbuilding Order of 2021

South Korea shipbuilding
(file photo)

Published Jan 5, 2021 3:41 PM by The Maritime Executive

The South Korean shipbuilding industry is off to a strong start in the first days of 2021 continuing the momentum for new orders developed in the fourth quarter of 2020. 

Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) reported today in a regulatory filing that it has received an order for six 15,000 TEU LNG-fueled containerships that will begin delivery to an unspecified Asian shipowner in the first half of 2023. Valued at $828 million, the order calls for four of the vessels to be built at Hyundai Heavy Industries’ Ulsan shipyard and two at the Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries yard in Yeongam.

No details were provided on the specifics of the new order only saying that the ships would employ the LNG expertise developed by the yards. Similar to the other large new LNG tankers that recently entered service, these new vessels will have a sufficient LNG capacity to make the round trip between Asia and Europe between refueling.

KSOE highlighted that the yard received its first order for a large LNG containership in 2018. The company said it has received orders for a total of 50 LNG-fueled ships.

This new order continues the momentum the South Korean yards were experiencing as 2020 came to an end. Business Korea calculates that the South Korean shipbuilding industry received nearly $14 billion in new orders in the fourth quarter. KSOE it calculates took in more than half the total new orders, booking $5.5 billion in orders in the fourth quarter. Samsung Heavy Industries was second in the fourth quarter with $4.5 billion in new orders and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering booked $3.9 billion in orders.

The strong fourth quarter brought South Korea’s total new orders to nearly $21 billion for the year. While the yard’s backlog declined by nearly $10 billion in 2020, Business Korea reports the shipbuilders continue to have a total order book valued at over $63 billion which provides work into 2022.

Korea’s Yonhap News Agency citing data from Clarkson Research Service reports that the South Korean shipbuilders led the industry in 2020 receiving 44 percent of the global newbuilding orders and exceeding the Chinese shipyards which took in about 37 percent of the orders based on tonnage. KSOE reports that it achieved 90 percent of its 2020 targets receiving orders for a total of 116 ships valued at approximately $10 billion.

Forecasts call for strong growth for 2021 with the South Korean government projecting that new orders received by the country’s shipyards will come in at $21.5 billion for the full year. KSOE reported that it is targeting $14.9 billion in new orders for 2021.